Walla Walla Community College
Men's Basketball

Warriors long ball routs Yaks


With Yakima Valley mounting a first-half comeback and leading scorer Satchel Schetzle struggling to find a rhythm early, the Walla Walla Community College men’s basketball team desperately needed a spark.

Schetzle, who leads the Northwest Athletic Conference in scoring at 26.8 points per game, could not have started Wednesday’s contest much worse. He missed the first 11 shots he took, as seemingly nothing would drop for the Warrior point guard.

That all changed right before halftime.

With a chance to cut into WWCC’s eight-point first-half lead, Yakima Valley’s Tra Satterwhite drove into the lane and flipped up a shot as the final seconds of the half ticked away.

His shot attempt bounced off the rim before Schetzle corralled the rebound, and with less than a second remaining on the game clock, heaved a 75-foot bomb to beat the buzzer and give the Warriors a 41-30 halftime lead.

“I don’t know if ever in my 30 years of coaching, I’ve had a player hit one of those,” WWCC coach Jeff Reinland said.

From there, it was smooth sailing for Schetzle and the Warriors.

Walla Walla outscored the Yaks 59-40 after the intermission with Schetzle playing a key role in the Warriors’ 100-70 victory. He finished the second stanza with 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including five from behind the arc.

“He’s so key because no one can stop him 1-on-1,” Reinland said of his point guard. “You pick your poison. Am I going to let him shoot the 3? Or am I going to get blown by?”

With Schetzle struggling to get going early, Walla Walla turned to its other starting guards — freshmen Gabe Porter and Payton Radliff.

The duo responded in a big way, as they combined for 30 of the Warriors’ 41 first-half points.

“I was really proud of Gabe and Rad for getting us going,” Reinland said. “When you’ve got things going, it’s easy to play. But they played well when we weren’t playing well.”

The young guns knocked in all nine of the team’s 3-pointers in the first half, as the majority of Walla Walla’s points came from beyond the arc before halftime.

It took nearly 14 minutes of game clock to expire before WWCC even converted a 2-point basket.

In total, nine of the Warriors’ 11 first-half field goals came from the perimeter.

“I thought we did a better job in the second half of getting the ball inside,” Reinland said. “That was our goal coming in and we didn’t get it inside one time in the first half. Not one.”

Center Nate Richards got going in the second half, as he scored 16 of his 19 points after the break. Richards converted an and-1 on an assist from Porter with less than 12 minutes remaining that all but ended it, as WWCC increased its lead to 68-43.

“Nate’s more of an outside guy than an inside guy,” Reinland said. “His shooting this year has been a little streaky. He hasn’t shot it overall as well this year as he did last year. We’re trying to get him to look to score inside more.”

Walla Walla finished with 20 3-pointers as both Schetzle and Radliff led the way with six. Porter also chipped in five from behind the arc.

The Warriors also held a 60-45 advantage on the boards thanks in part to a spirited halftime speech from Reinland.

Walla Walla, which ranks in the bottom half of the NWAC in rebounds per game, had six players finish with five rebounds or more.

Richards led the way with a team-high nine.

“We chewed on them a little bit at halftime for not rebounding enough,” Reinland said. “Sometimes our guards like to sit around and watch.

“They can all rebound and they can all jump,” he added. “Just getting them to buy into that part of it is tough.”

With the win, WWCC (10-7 overall, 2-0 in NWAC East) sets up a showdown with fellow East Region unbeaten Wenatchee Valley (13-4, 2-0) on Saturday at 4 p.m. in Wenatchee.

“This game against Wenatchee is really going to be a tough game,” Reinland said. “They’ve had a little bit better year than we’ve had in terms of wins and losses. They’re just a hard-nosed club.”

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Article by Alex Field of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin