Spokane’s back court tandem of Dean Richey and Jake Love scored 29 points each as the Sasquatch defeated the Warriors 98-87.
It was WWCC’s fourth consecutive loss since the second half of the Eastern Region season commenced earlier this month and put the Warriors in position where they’ll need plenty of help if they are to finish among the division’s top four teams and qualify for the postseason.
“We could win our last three games and easily not get in,” Walla Walla coach Jeff Reinland said of his team’s precarious playoff hopes. “Our problem is that Treasure Valley and Wenatchee have beaten us both times.”
The Chukars (6-4 in the East) and Wenatchee (5-5) are two of the teams five teams ahead of WWCC in the division standings, and both hold the tiebreaker advantage over the Warriors.
Walla Walla, at 4-7 in league play at 12-14 overall, can only hope to tie Spokane (7-4, 17-9) for the fourth and final playoff berth. The Warriors and Sasquatch have split their regular-season matchups and would have to meet in a playoff game to decide the East’s final tourney berth.
But with first-place Big Bend invading the Dietrich Dome Saturday afternoon and second-place Columbia Basin due in the following Saturday, the Warriors would seem to have their work cut out for them and then some. Big Bend defeated CBC 71-66 Wednesday night to improve to 9-2 in the division while CBC now stands at 8-30.
The Warriors play at Blue Mountain (1-9, 5-17) next Wednesday in their only other remaining regular season game.
Wednesday’s loss to the Sasquatch was nothing more than a continuation of what the Walla Wallans have been up against since the second half of division play began, Reinland said.
“It’s not that we are playing so bad,” Reinland said. “It’s that everybody seems to play their best against us. We lose by one at Yakima, Wenatchee comes in and we lose by one on a shot at the buzzer, and now Spokane.
“It was another hard nosed game that was close all the way. We were only down by four at halftime and we went ahead 62-60 with 11 minutes to go. And then we couldn’t stop them, and they shot so well.”
Love, a 6-foot-3 freshman, was 11-for-19 from the field and Richey, a 6-5 sophomore, was 8-for-17. They each knocked down 3-of-4 shots from 3-point distance on a night when Spokane was 12-of-22 from beyond the arc and 34-for-68 overall.
Walla Walla was led by Nate Richards’ 25 points. Satchel Schetzle totaled 20 points, Gabe Porter put up 16 and Payton Radliff scored 13.
The Warriors were 32-for-74 from the field and made 17 of their 45 shots from 3-point distance.