WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi trailed Richland 52-38 following a trey from Payton Radliff with 2:45 left in the third here in Mid Columbia Conference boys basketball action.
But The Blue Devils would not go away and staged a 24-point, fourth-period rally to tie the game 71-71 on Eric Klicker’s bank shot as regulation expired.
The Bombers got four points from Steven Beo, who led the Bombers with 28 points, in overtime and Nathan Streufert rebounded a Wa-Hi mis with 4-seconds left to ice the Bomber 80-75 overtime win.
“This team is resilent,” Blue Devil coach John Golden said. “They could’ve folded there a couple of times. We thought we gave one away last night (a 61-58 loss to Hanford), and didn’t play as well as we could’ve. Tonight, we came out and played a really good team and played really well. Some things we didn’t do very well on, but we made up for it.”
Wa-Hi set the tone early as Klicker drained a trey, Sam Arias hit a deuce, and Andrew Thonney went inside to 6-foot-8 post Tanner Cranor, for a 7-2 Wa-Hi lead two minutes in. The Bombers responded with two treys to take a 19-14 lead after one.
The Bombers, who scored 97 in a 97-92 win over Kennewick Friday, hit four treys in the second quarter to increase the lead to 38-29 at the half.
“We could’ve gotten buried and we didn’t,” Golden said. “We came back.”
Wa-Hi pounded the ball inside to Cranor who responded with 14 first-half points to keep the Blue Devils within striking distance.
The Bombers, after extending the lead to 52-38, never got the job finished as Wa-Hi, behind seven points from Cranor and a Paul Gilmore bucket, finished the quarter on a 9-3 run to pull within 55-47 after three.
The Blue Devils went to Cranor with a vengenance in the final eight minutes. Cranor responded with 10 points in the quarter and hit a pair of free throws with :24 left to give the Blue Devils their first lead since early in the first at 69-68.
Beo drained two free throws, he was six-of-six from the line for the game, to give the Bombers a 71-69 lead with 4-seconds left. Gabe Porter took the ball the length of the court for Wa-Hi, but slipped as he drove for the basket. Klicker picked up the errant shot and banked it home as the horn sounded, to tie the game at 71-71.
Porter drained two free throws to open the scoring in OT and give Wa-Hi a 73-71 lead wtih 3:11 left. Beo answered with a pair of free throws and a bucket to put Richland ahead for good at 75-73 at the 1:45 mark. Jacob DeVries got behind the Wa-Hi defense to run the Bomber lead to 77-73 before Klicker answered with a baseline drive with :18 left to narrow the lead to 77-75.
DeVries hit two free throws and Sstreufert grabbed a rebound and converted a free throw for the final 80-75 margin.
“It’s going to hurt for a little bit,” Golden said of the loss. “I’m proud of the way these guys came back. Our toughness was a lot better than it was last night. We’ve got a lot to play for and alot of games left.”
Cranor led the way with 35 points and seven rebounds before fouling out with 46 seconds left in OT. Klicker added 15 points as Wa-Hi drops to 4-2 in the MCC.
“We did a good job looking inside for Tanner,” Golden concluded. “Tanner had a heck of a game. He did a great job of finishing. It was our game plan. I was proud of him for executing and proud of our guys for getting him the ball.”
Wa-Hi travels to Kamiakin Friday.
richland 80, Wa-Hi 75
Richland (80) — DeVries 6 4-4 17, Crandall 0 0-0 0, McCullough 0 0-0 0, Beo 9 6-6 28, Radliff 5 0-0 13, Hilty 4 0-1 7, Streufert 4 3-6 12, Wheeler 1 1-2 3, Miller 0 0-0 0. Totals 29 14-19 80.
Wa-Hi (75) — Toon 1 0-0 2, Klicker 5 4-4 15, Porter 2 3-4 8, Thonney 0 1-2 1, Eggart 0 1-2 1, Arias 3 2-2 8, Gilmore 2 1-2 5, Cranor 15 5-6 35, Warinner 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 17-22 75.
Richland 19 19 17 16 9 — 80
Wa-Hi 14 15 18 24 4 — 75
3-point goals — RHS 9 (DeVries 1, Beo 4, Radliff 3, Hilty 1), Wa-Hi 2 (Klicker, Porter). Total fouls — RHS 23, Wa-Hi 17. Fouled out — Wa-Hi (Cranor). Technical fouls — none. Rebounds — RHS 29 (Streufert 7), Wa-Hi 29 (Cranor 7). Turnovers — RHS 9, Wa-Hi 11. Assists — RHS 15 (Streufert 5, Hilty 5), Wa-Hi 17 (Arias 4, Porter 4).