Blue Devils gain revenge on Lions, 60-54

Wa-Hi's Gabe Porter gets some love from Blue Devil fans before the game against Kennewick at Walla Walla High School on Saturday.

Wa-Hi's Gabe Porter gets some love from Blue Devil fans before the game against Kennewick at Walla Walla High School on Saturday.

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WALLA WALLA — A night after Chiawana spoiled the Walla Walla High School boys basketball team’s Mid-Columbia Conference opener with a 76-65 defeat, the Blue Devils bounced back to lead wire to wire and upend Kennewick, 60-54.

“Tonight we got out here and defended really well,” Blue Devil coach John Golden said. “We emphasized defending the perimeter. We had guys that found a little extra after last night. This is a big win. We defend the home court.”

The Blue Devils held the Lions scoreless for four minutes and behind Eric Klicker’s five points, Wa-Hi built a 13-7 lead after one.

“We dug deep tonight,” said Wa-Hi senior guard Gabe Porter, who led all scorers with 18 points. “We knew we had to get this one and shake it off from last night.”

Wa-Hi (4-2 overall, 1-1 MCC) connected on 10-of-12 shots from the floor in the second period, but Jacob Vargas hit from the low post to cut the Blue Devil lead to 23-16 with 2:50 left in the half.

That was when Porter went off.

He scored two triples and two deuces — 10 of Wa-Hi’s twelve points to close out the half — and sent Wa-Hi to intermission up 35-24.

“My guys just find me,” Porter said. “It’s a team thing. When I’m hot, they’re going to give me the ball. I was just in the right place at the right time.”

“He’s got that offensive mentality,” Golden said of Porter’s explosion. “But the best thing is we had three guys in double figures. We need to continue to get that.”

The Lions turned to a scrambling man-to-man to start the third and cut the Wa-Hi lead to 38-34 following an Alex Garcia bucket with 2:35 left in the quarter.

Golden called a time out and the Blue Devils, behind two buckets from Andrew Harvey and a bucket from Spencer Locati (playing his second game back from a baseball knee injury) closed the third and took a 44-37 lead to the fourth.

“He called a time out, so we could take a breather,” Porter said. “He told us to be patient with the ball and not force anything. Coach told us to move the ball, and we do what coach tells us to do. And we came out with the win.”

The Blue Devils moved the ball with the pass in the fourth. Porter scored four, Klicker added five, Ross Lake chipped in three, and Harvey added four as Wa-Hi held off the Lions to pull out the 60-54 win.

“We handled their pressure,” Golden said. “We executed the press offense and made them pay a few times at the other end.”

Porter led the way with 18 points, Klicker finished with 13, Harvey came off the bench to score 10, and Lake went for nine points and grabbed 13 rebounds.

“Harvey is coming along,” Golden added. “He’s got a nice touch offensively. Ross looked good tonight. Gabe and Eric are pretty study. We’ve got pieces going in the right direction and now we have to keep working on the defensive end.”

“This (win) is a confidence booster,” Porter said. “Team-wise we feel good.”

Chiawana threatened to run the Blue Devils out of the gym in the MCC opener Friday.

The RiverHawks led 48-27 at the break, but Wa-Hi rallied behind Porter’s 11 third-quarter points to draw within 59-52 heading to the fourth.

But Chiawana’s Brandon Mendoza scored eight of his team-leading 18 in the fourth as the RiverHawks held off Wa-Hi and claimed a 76-65 win. Porter’s 21 points led Wa-Hi and Lake knocked down 11-of-12 free throws to score 15.

The Blue Devils travel to Lewiston for a Holiday Tournament Friday.

Wa-Hi 60, Kennewick 54

KEHS (54) — Garcia 2 0-0 5, J. Wuol 3 2-6 8, Mueller 6 1-2 13, Kutzke 0 0-0 0, DeWitt 1 0-0 2, D. Plew 2 0-0 5, Tennancour 1 0-0 3, C. Plew 1 1-2 4, Vargas 5 1-2 11, Y. Wuol 1 0-0 3. Totals 22-52 5-12 54.

WA-HI (60) — Gogl 0 0-0 0, Steele 1 0-0 2, Klicker 4 2-5 13, Porter 7 2-2 18, Locati 2 0-0 4, Lake 3 3-7 9, Harvey 5 0-0 10, Handcox 1 0-2 2, Giles 1 0-0 2. Totals 24-54 7-16.

KeHS 7 17 13 17 — 54

Wa-Hi 13 22 9 16 — 60

3-point goals — KeHS 5 (Garcia, D. Plew, Tennancour, C. Plew, Y. Wuol), WW 5 (Klicker 3, Porter 2). Total fouls — KeHS 18, WW 10. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — none. Rebounds — KeHS 29 (Mueller 6, Tennancour 6), WW 37 (Lake 13). Turnovers — KeHS 11, WW 12. Assists — KeHS 10 (Garcia 2, Tennancour 2, Mueller 2), WW 16 (Klicker 7).

Chiawana 76, Walla Walla 65

WA-HI (65) — Gogl 0 0-0 0, Steele 2 4-4 8, Klicker 3 4-4 12, Porter 7 3-4 21, Locati 1 0-0 2, Lake 2 11-12 15, Harvey 1 0-0 2, Handcox 1 0-0 2, Sumerlin 1 1-2 3, Giles 0 0-0 0. Totals 18-40 23-26 65.

CHIAWANA (76) — Mitchell 3 0-0 7, Harris 1 2-3 5, Singleton 1 3-4 5, Dorton 1 0-1 2, Wren 4 1-2 12, Mendoza 6 3-4 18, Grandison 3 1-2 9, Koval 4 4-5 12, Henderson 1 4-4 6, Maughan 0 0-1 0. Totals 34-61 18-26 76.

Wa-Hi 9 18 25 13 — 65

CHS 24 24 11 17 — 76

3-point goals — WW 6 (Klicker 2, Porter 4), CHS 10 (Mitchell, Harris, Wren 3, Mendoza 3, Grandison 2). Total fouls — WW 25, CHS 27. Fouled out — WW (Steele, Porter), CHS (Harris, Koval). Technical fouls — none. Rebounds — WW 34 (Lake 7), CHS 28 (Mitchell 7). Turnovers — WW 25. CHS 10. Assists — WW 8 (Steele 3, Porter 3).

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