Walla Walla caught Yakima twice down the stretch, but could never overtake the Yaks as the Warriors sustained a debilitating 83-82 defeat in a Northwest Athletic Conference men’s basketball game here Wednesday night.
The game was tied at 79-79 inside a minute to play and again 81-81 in the final seconds, but missed free throws and failure to execute coming out of a timeout proved fatal as WWCC suffered its second straight Eastern Division defeat and saw its record slide to 4-5 in league play and 12-12 overall.
It was just the fourth victory of the season for Yakima (2-7, 4-19), but the Yaks didn’t play like a division bottom feeder, Warriors coach Jeff Reinland said.
“Yakima gets all the credit,” Reinland said. “They played so hard. And late in the second half, man, they were fired up, swinging fists and jumping around on the bench. We just haven’t had that fire as a team.
“We had our chances,” he added. “We just didn’t get ’er done.”
Tra Satterwhite, who led the Yaks with 25 points, scored the last of his nine field goals for an 83-81 lead moments after WWCC’s Payton Radliff missed a pair of free throws, either of which would have given WWCC its first lead since early in the first half. The Warriors immediately called a timeout.
“We set up a play for Satchel,” Reinland said of Satchel Schetzle, who led the Warriors in scoring with 36 points.
“In fact, we set up two plays,” Reinland said. “We ran the first one and he wasn’t open, so we were supposed to run the second one. But for some reason, one of our guys forgot and went to score instead.”
Garrett Sawyer drew a foul, made his first free throw to make it a one-point game but missed the second and the Yaks rebounded.
“We had to foul with about 6.5 seconds left,” Reinland said. “But they missed their free throws and Garrett Sawyer got the rebound. But he got knocked around getting it, and by the time we cleared the ball and called another timeout, there were just two seconds left. Satchel got off a half-court shot at the buzzer and it was pretty close, but it rimmed out.”
The Warriors took an early 14-10 lead but trailed 46-40 at halftime and by as many as 13 points with time beginning to run out. But Radliff sank back-to-back 3-pointers and Schetzle followed with a trey as the Warriors cut the margin to four points and fought their way back into the game.
“We just couldn’t get over the hump,” Reinland said.
Schetzle led four Warriors in double figures. Radliff finished with 16 points, Matt Grooms tallied 12 points to go with a game-high nine rebounds and Nate Richards added 10 points. Schetzle led the Warriors with six assists.
Marquice Clark scored 18 points and led the Yaks with eight rebounds. Mac Wood added 11 points and Demetrius Trammell scored 10.
“Yakima is more athletic than we are, and we had trouble stopping them man-to-man,” Reinland said. “They hit shots with guys all over them. We went to two different zones and didn’t play those well, either. We went back to man defense and it was much better in the second half, but we still had breakdowns.
“In a one-point game, you can point to a lot of stuff that you could have done and didn’t do.”
The Warriors return to the court Saturday when they entertain Wenatchee in an Eastern Division game tipping off at 4 p.m. in the Dietrich Dome.
“Every game is going to be tough,” Reinland said. “Right now we are just trying to win a game.”