BELLEVUE — Portland’s Mike Gregory scored a basket at the buzzer here Sunday to lift the Panthers to an 86-84 victory over Walla Walla during the final day of the Bellevue Holiday Classic men’s community college basketball tournament.
The Warriors misfired on their final two trips down the court with the score deadlocked at 84-84 after rallying from a nine-point deficit during the game’s final minutes of play.
Gregory’s game-winner came after a rebounded Portland miss with the final seconds ticking down.
“It was a twisting shot in the middle of the lane, maybe a 12-footer,” Walla Walla coach Jeff Reinland said. “They had taken a wild shot, but we couldn’t get the rebound and the guy scored at the buzzer.”
The Warriors had two open looks at the basket that would have given them the lead, Reinland noted.
“We made a nice run, tied the game up and had the ball with about a minute to go,” Reinland said. “We missed an open 2-pointer, they rebounded, took a quick shot and missed and we got the ball back with 15-to-20 seconds to play and missed an open 3-point shot.”
The loss dropped the Warriors’ season record to 3-4. They will be on the road again this weekend when they compete in an NWAC crossover tournament at South Puget Sound in Tacoma.
“This coming tournament might not be the same calibre of competition that we saw this weekend,” Reinland said. “We played three very good teams over here.”
Walla Walla opened the tournament Friday with a 101-95 victory over Olympic before suffering a 77-50 loss to Highline on Saturday. Highline lost to host Bellevue 68-61 in Sunday’s championship game.
Portland’s balanced offense was difficult to defend, Reinland said. Tay Arigbon led the Panthers with 20 points, Gregory and David Medina scored 17 points each and Trevon Eisenhut and Angelo Massey added 13 apiece.
The Warriors, meanwhile, got 34 points from Satchel Schetzle and 25 from Payton Radliff but precious little else.
“The way things are going right now, Schatzle, Radliff and (Gabe) Porter have to play really good every night or we struggle,” Reinland said. Porter, a 6-foot freshman guard out of Wa-Hi, managed just seven points on 3-for-10 shooting from the floor against the Panthers.
“We’re playing a lot of first-year players and the consistency is not what it should be,” Reinland said. “We need to get our big guys going a little better and we are going to keep working on that. We’re not as deep as we thought we would be, but we have some potential on our bench.”