WALLA WALLA - In Southeast 2B boys basketball action here Tuesday, Walla Walla Valley Academy and DeSales combined for six ties and 11 lead changes before the Knights emerged with a 65-58 win.
"Basketball is a game of runs," Irish coach Allyn Griffin said. "You just hope you have the last one and tonight we didn't."
Travis Haen drained his first two 3's and lifted the Irish to a 6-0 lead one minute into the game.
The Knights stormed back behind the 11-point barrage - which included three treys - of Daniel Lomeland to take a 20-14 lead after one quarter.
"I have to give them (DeSales) a lot of credit," WWVA coach Scott Wagner said. "They came out with a lot of energy. We didn't execute as well as we could've, but a lot of that is because they defended us well."
Haen drilled three more treys in the second quarter and finished the half with 19 points, but it took a Reilly Roach trey from the left corner at the buzzer to give the Irish a 36-33 lead at the half.
"He (Haen) shot very well tonight," Griffin said. "He's very capable of doing that."
Lomeland drained a trey with 7:30 left in the third to pull the Knights into a 36-36 tie. A minute later Matt Hanson hit a 3, his first of a perfect 4-of-4 shooting night from behind the arc, and the Knights re-took the lead at 39-36.
The Irish answered in a flurry. Two steals, a turnover, and four points from Jeremiah Cox led the Irish on a 9-0 run that produced a 45-39 Irish lead with 4:55 left in the third.
Matt Moore, with three free throws and two buckets, sparked a WWVA 9-4 run to close the third with the Irish clinging to a 49-48 lead.
"We got a little bit behind there in the second half," Wagner said. "When you're on the road and you dig out of a hole like that and come back, you've got to be proud of the effort."
Two Moore free throws to open the fourth put the Knights on top 50-49. Luke Fazzari connected for DeSales and the Irish got the lead back at 51-50 with 6:20 to play.
An Alex Wagner 3-ball, two buckets from Lomeland, and a jumper from Jordan Schutte sparked a 9-1 Knights run and WWVA had control at 59-52 with 4:25 to play.
Haen hit two free throws to pull DeSales within 61-58 with 2:17 to play, but Moore hit 4-of-6 free throws the rest of the way to hold off the Irish.
Moore led all scorers with 25 points, including 11-of-17 free throws. Lomeland added 18, and Hanson finished with 12. WWVA improved to 3-3 in league and travels to 4-2 Asotin Thursday.
"We dug down and played a solid game," coach Wagner said. "Daniel (Lomeland) shot the ball well, and when he gets hot he opens the floor for the rest of the players. Matt (Moore) made good decisions. I'm proud of the way the guys came together as a team."
The Irish were led by the 24-point effort of Haen. Fazzari added 10 and Cox scored 10 and handed out four assists. On the glass, Nick Wales pulled down a game-high 21 boards.
The Irish drop to 1-5 in league and travel to Pasco Saturday to play Tri-Cities Prep.
"Whenever you suffer a humiliating loss (an 80-40 defeat at W-P last week), it's important how you come out and respond," Griffin said. "We did that tonight. We shot well. We turned the corner tonight. We're not too far away. The more work we put in each day, we get better."
Walla Walla Valley Academy 65, DeSales 58
WALLA WALLA VALLEY ACADEMY (65) - Flegel 0-1 0-0 0, Moore 7-13 11-17 25, Lindsey 0-0 0-0 0, Rose 0-1 1-2 1, Schutte 2-5 2-5 6, Lomeland 7-20 0-0 18, Hanson 4-8 0-0 12, Wagner 1-5 0-0 3, Cosaert 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-53 14-24 65.
DESALES (58) - Roach 1-7 0-0 3, Haen 7-19 4-4 24, Fazzari 5-13 0-2 10, Martinez 0-0 1-2 1, Wales 0-1 2-5 2, Leahy 3-4 0-0 6, Cox 5-10 0-0 10, Cordeiro 0-1 2-2 2, Elmenhurst 0-0 0-0 0, Galloway 0-2 0-0 0, Cortez 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-57 9-15 58.
WWVA 20 13 15 17 - 65
DeSales 14 22 13 9 - 58
3-point goals - WWVA 9-20 (Rose 0-1, Lomeland 4-11, Hanson 4-4, Wagner 1-4), DeS 7-24 (Roach 1-5, Haen 6-14, Fazzari 0-4, Galloway 0-1). Total fouls - WWVA 14, DeS 19. Fouled out - WWVA (Hanson). Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - WWVA 37 (Lomeland 9), DeS 37 (Wales 21). Turnovers - WWVA 21, DeS 22. Assists - WWVA 9 (Moore 3), DeS 10 (Cox 4).