WALLA WALLA - Wa-Hi's Josh Eggers led a late game charge - hitting all eight of his overtime free throws and adding two buckets - to push the Blue Devils past the Wenatchee Panthers, 60-46.
The Blue Devils outscored the Panthers 18-4 in overtime and needed a 12-6 fourth quarter run to get the game into overtime.
"I wish we would have hit our free throws early on," Wa-Hi coach John Golden said. "We had a lot of opportunities. If we'd have made our free throws early, we might not have had to go into overtime. We just didn't cash in early but we did down the stretch."
Adding four free throws in overtime was Gabe Porter. The Blue Devils were 12-of-14 from the line in overtime.
Prior to overtime, Wa-Hi was just 10-22 from the charity stripe.
Nick Peasley and Eggers keyed the 12-6 Wa-Hi surge in the fourth. Both hit shots with the clock running down, and Peasley had two 3-pointers in the run. Eggers added a single free throw for a 3-point play the old-fashioned way with the foul.
The Panthers left the door open late in regulation, missing the front halves of two one-and-one opportunities.
Peasley hit a shot from downtown with 25 seconds remaining in regulation to pull Wa-Hi within three points after a Wenatchee missed free throw in the bonus. The bonus brought Wenatchee back to the line where they missed the single free throw again. Rob Ferenz rebounded the ball and a quick timeout with 23.7 seconds remaining. Wa-Hi still trailed by three.
The Blue Devils inbounded near halfcourt and Eggers took the ball to the basket down a big lane in the middle of the key. Eggers hit a floater and was fouled. He hit the and-1 shot to tie it with 13.5 seconds remaining in regulation.
The Panthers called a timeout but were unsuccessful in their next offensive opportunity before OT.
The four minute overtime was all Wa-Hi.
"It was a nice comeback in the fourth and good foul shooting in overtime," Golden said. "I really liked the way we came out in the fourth and overtime with our defensive pressure. We put more pressure on them and disrupted their flow a bit. We came back and we wanted it. It was a big win and we have to protect home court if we want to make the playoffs."
Wa-Hi forced 10 of the Panthers 19 turnovers in the fourth quarter to make their big run into overtime.
Even before the fourth quarter, Wa-Hi chipped away at the lead in second and third quarters.
The Blue Devils out scored the Panthers 9-8 and 12-11 in those two quarters and found themselves behind by six going into the fourth.
Wa-Hi found itself in a hole after a first quarter Panther run of 16-8.
Dillion Sugg led the Panthers with 19 points and 15 rebounds. Sugg had 13 points at halftime and 10 rebounds in the second half.
Sugg's offensive rebounds, six in the second half which led to six second-chance points, kept the Panthers leading into the fourth.
Wa-Hi cut down on its turnovers after halftime, only making six in the second half and getting four team steals after the intermission.
"We really cut down our turnovers in the second half," Golden said. "We are the kind of team that can't afford to turn the ball over because we need every possession to get a good look at the basket."
In the first half, the Blue Devils had five steals and nine turnovers.
Wa-Hi shot just 17-of-48 (35 percent) from the field for the game. The Panthers shot 34 percent.
Eggers and Peasley led the team in scoring throughout the game. Eggers finished with 25 and Peasley had 16 on 4-of-9 from downtown.
"Nick (Peasley) really found his shooting touch in the second half," Golden said, "and Josh (Eggers) hit some clutch free throws for us."
Ferenz led the team in rebounding with 12.
"Rob (Ferenz) can get the rebounds," Golden said. "He has had double-digit rebound games before and has the ability to get the basketball. That is what we need. We changed it up on defense from man to zone and it is tough to rebound in zone. But Rob did a good job of finding the basketball."
Wa-Hi rebounded from a 52-35 road loss against Davis Friday to improve their record 1-3 in the Big Nine Conference. The Blue Devils are now 1-1 in league at home. Overall, Wa-Hi is 5-7 and plays again at home versus Eisenhower Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
Davis 52, Wa-Hi 35
WA-HI (35) - Eggers 9, Rowley 1, Locati 2, Handcox 7, Lesmeister 4, Jameson 8, Cranor 1, Ferenz 3. Totals - 13-37 8-20 35.
DAVIS (52) - Kupp 5, Acosta 2, Navarro 9, Luckett 10, Trimble 8, Wright 7, Lizzote 4, Jones 7. Totals - 21-62 5-8 52.
Wa-Hi 5 7 8 15 - 35
Davis 16 14 18 14 - 52
Wa-Hi 60, Wenatchee 46 OT
WENATCHEE (46) - Kuntz 1-3 1-1 3, Fuller 1-6 0-3 2, Siderius 3-8 3-3 9, Sugg 7-15 4-8 19, Faulkner 1-3 1-2 3, Chandler 1-2 0-0 2, Allison 4-11 0-0 8, Garcia 0-1 0-0 0, McGinnis 0-3 0-0. Totals - 18-53 9-17 46.
WA-HI (60) - Eggers 7-10 11-15 25, Porter 0-4 4-4 4, Locati 2-4 0-0 4, Locati 2-4 0-0 4, Handcox 0-3 2-5 2, Peasley 5-13 2-2 16, Lesmeister 0-0 0-0 0, Jameson 0-4 0-0 0, Cranor 2-5 2-6 6, Ferenz 1-5 1-4 3. Totals - 17-48 22-36 60.
Wenatchee 16 8 11 7 4 - 46
Wa-Hi 8 9 12 13 18 - 60
3-point goals - Wa-Hi 4-17 (Peasley 4), Wen 1-8 (Sugg). Total fouls - Wen 23, Wa-Hi 14. Fouled out - Wa-Hi (Jameson). Technical fouls - Wa-Hi (Ferenz). Rebounds - Wa-Hi 39 (Ferenz 12), Wen 37 (Sugg 15). Assists - Wa-Hi 6 (Eggers 3), Wen 5 (Sugg). Turnovers - Wen 19, Wa-Hi 15.