Wa-Hi boys fall to Hanford, 61-58

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WALLA WALLA — The Cardiac Kids have kicked the bucket — or rather, they’ve lost a basketball game.

Wa-Hi has come out one the winning end of its fair share of buzzer-beaters this season, winning four games by four points or less including a pair of one-point victories, but couldn’t repeat the feat again Friday night at the Wa-Hi gymnasium in a 61-58 Mid-Columbia Conference loss to Hanford.

“We just missed too many easy shots, especially in the first half,” Wa-Hi coach John Golden said. “I thought that was one we kind of gave away.”

The Blue Devils held a seven-point lead at the half, but Hanford (9-2, 4-1 MCC) exploded for 24 points in the third to even the game at 46 heading into the final frame.

The teams traded buckets to 56-all with 2:54 remaining in the game, but a Jalen DeVine triple and a highlight-reel Jalen Watson crashing layup gave the Falcons a five-point lead with 50 seconds remaining that the Blue Devils could not overcome.

“We had a couple of turnovers, especially at the end, that were at crucial times,” Golden said of his team, which finished with 14 turnovers on the night. “Just frustrating. I thought this was one of the ones that we could have had, so we’ve got to get back to work.”

Senior forward Sam Arias’ layup with 20 seconds left on the clock gave Wa-Hi life, but by the time Wa-Hi regained possession they had only 6 seconds left and were inbounding from the far side of the court.

Andrew Thonney lofted the ball in to Arias, whose almost last-second 3-point attempt bounced harmlessly off the backboard.

“We got the look we wanted, we just couldn’t make the shot,” Golden said.

Fellow post Tanner Cranor led the Blue Devils with 16 points on the night, but struggled in stretches to finish around the net leading to an 8-for-19 shooting night.

Gabe Porter and Arias each finished with 13 points.

As a team, Wa-Hi shot just shy of 40 percent, though they had chances.

“I thought our execution was great, but execution only goes so far — you have to make a shot,” Golden said. “We didn’t make very many shots tonight. We had a lot of opportunities, especially in the first half, and we just didn’t put the ball in the hole.”

At times the game devolved into a 3-point shooting contest, with each team hitting 7-of-19 from beyond the arc.

The deciding factor came at the free-throw line, however, as Hanford hit 12-of-25 from the line, while Wa-Hi managed just seven attempts, of which they hit only three.

The loss is the second for Wa-Hi in as many games after the Blue Devils (9-2, 4-1 MCC) opened the season on a 9-game winning streak.

The Blue Devils face Richland (7-3, 4-1 MCC) Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.

“It’s going to be like this,” Golden said of the close games. “We get a lot of this right now, down to the wire. We’ve just got to bounce back because tomorrow is even bigger. We’ve got to have one of these two home games.”

HANFORD 61, WALLA WALLA 58

HANFORD (61) — K. Watson 0-0 0-0 0, Jones 0-1 0-0 0, Sutey 3-8 0-0 8, Heid 1-3 0-0 3, DeVine 3-10 4-6 12, J. Watson 3-10 1-5 8, Douglas 5-11 4-6 14, Dobken 6-11 3-8 16. Totals 21-54 12-25 61.

WALLA WALLA (58) — Toon 0-0 0-0 0, Klicker 2-12 2-9 6, Porter 5-9 0-0 13, Thonney 3-6 0-2 6, Eggart 1-2 0-0 3, Hogan 0-0 0-0 0, Arias 5-9 2-2 13, Gilmore 0-3 0-0 0, Cranor 8-19 0-1 16, Warriner 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 24-61 3-7 58.

Hanford 15 7 24 15 — 61

Wa-Hi 12 17 17 12 — 58

3-point goals — Han 7-19 (Sutey 2-5, Heid 1-3, DeVine 2-3, J. Watson 1-7, Dobken 1-1), WW 7-19 (Klicker 2-9, Porter 3-5, Eggart 1-1, Arias 1-3). Total fouls — Han 7, WW 18. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — WW 1 (too many players on court). Rebounds — Han 42 (Dobken 12), WW 36 (Cranor 8). Turnovers — Han 16, WW 14. Assists — Han 9 (Sutey 3, J. Watson 3), WW 17 (Thonney 4).

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