COLLEGE PLACE - Defense Bulldog-style was the story here Thursday in Southeast 2B boys basketball action.
Dayton unrolled its defensive intensity to post a 69-44 win over Walla Walla Valley Academy and improve to 9-0 on the season, and 3-0 in league play.
"Their (Dayton's) defense was really good tonight," WWVA coach Scott Wagner said. "It is probably the best defense we've seen this year. We had a little trouble adjusting to it."
The first period was about offense as Dayton's Hayden Fullerton and the Knights' Matthew Moore squared off. Fullerton drained two treys and finished the quarter with 10 points. Moore scored six, but the Bulldogs took a 16-10 lead after one.
Hello Bulldog defense. The Knights did not score until there was 1:45 left in the half, and Dayton forced eight Knight turnovers in a 12-0 run.
Moore got a WWVA bucket at the 1:45 mark and another with 45 seconds left in the half, but that was the WWVA offense as the Bulldogs went to the half up 32-14.
The defensive intensity didn't stay in the Bulldog locker room after intermission, but this time Dayton added a little offense to go with the defense.
Fullerton, on his way to a game-high 27-point performance, scored seven in the third, Kroft Sunderland added six, and Colton Bickelhaupt chipped in six.
And the Bulldog defense limited WWVA to 2-of-12 shooting from the floor (a Moore deuce and a trey from Alex Wagner), and Dayton took an insurmountable 53-21 lead to the fourth period.
"We pride ourselves on our defense," Bulldog coach Roy Ramirez said. "That's what we work on and that's the kind of defense we like to play.
"(On offense) we try and get the ball out and run," Ramirez continued. "From the second quarter on, I thought we did that pretty decent."
Wagner drained two triples, Moore culminated his 22-point effort with 10 points in the fourth, and Daniel Lomeland added five as the Knights made a mini 23-16 run over the last eight minutes.
But it was too little too late.
"We're a growing team," Wagner said. "I thought we got better as the game went along. They are very, very good defensively. We don't feel too bad about how we did. We would've liked to have been closer, but at this point in the season, we'll take it."
Wagner scored 10 points for WWVA, and Lomeland added seven points and led the Knights on the boards with six rebounds.
Walla Walla drops to 4-4, 0-3 in league and hosts Tri-Cities Prep Saturday.
For the Bulldogs, Sunderland finished with 14 points and led all rebounders with eight. Dayton won the battle on the glass by a 36-28 margin. Garett Turner was the third Bulldog in double digits as Turner finished with 10 points and handed out seven assists.
"It's nice to be undefeated," Ramirez said. "But we want to get better every game. We're trying to get better. Whenever you win, it's a good win. We can work on some things to get better, and that's what we're going to do."
Dayton hosts Liberty Christian Saturday.
DAYTON 69, WWVA 44
DAYTON (69) - Frame 3-6 0-0 6, McCleary 1-3 0-0 2, Bickelhaupt 2-3 3-4 9, Schlachter 0-2 0-0 0, Fullerton 9-15 6-8 27, Turner 4-14 2-3 10, Sanchez 0-1 0-0 0, Sunderland 6-8 2-2 14, Ramirez 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 25-53 14-19 69.
WWVA (44) - Flagel 0-0 0-0 0, Moore 8-18 6-7 22, Rose 0-0 0-0 0, Shute 1-2 1-2 3, Lomeland 3-11 0-0 7, Hanson 1-6 0-0 2, Wagner 3-11 1-2 10. Totals 16-48 8-11 44.
Dayton 16 16 21 16 - 69
WWVA 10 4 7 23 - 44
3-point goals - Day 5-7 (Bickelhaupt 2-2, Fullerton 3-3, Turner 0-2), WWVA 4-19 (Moore 0-3, Lomeland 1-6, Hanson 0-3, Wagner 3-7). Total fouls - Day 13, WWVA 15. Fouled out - none. Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - Day 36 (Sunderland 8), WWVA 28 (Lomeland 6). Turnovers - Day 16, WWVA 21. Assists - Day 13 (Turner 7), WWVA 5 (Hanson 3).