Walla Walla Community College
Men's Basketball

Warriors rally past Southwest Oregon

EDMONDS, Wash. — Walla Walla scrapped its man-to-man defense and went to a zone here Sunday in a men’s Northwest Athletic Conference crossover basketball tournament.

The switch enabled the Warriors to wipe out an eight-point halftime deficit and defeat Southwest Oregon, 86-85, and raise their season record to 9-1 heading into the Christmas break.

“The zone completely changed the game,” WWCC coach Jeff Reinland said. “Southwest Oregon started three guys 6-foot-7 and it was hard for us to match up. We couldn’t keep up with them man-to-man so we switched to the zone.”

Reinland is off to the best start in his 34-year coaching career.

“I never thought we would be sitting 9-1 at this point in the season,” said Reinland, who watched his team rebound from its only defeat of the season here Friday with back-to-back wins Saturday and Sunday. The Warriors lost to host Edmonds 92-70 in its crossover opener but rebounded to defeat Green River 101-67.

“We’ve done pretty well,” Reinland said. “But with the exception of one or two teams, every team we’ve played is capable of beating us. Every night out it’s a 50-50 deal.”

WWCC led Southwest Oregon 85-76 with two-and-a-half minutes to play here Sunday but had to hang on for the one-point victory. While the Warriors struggled from the free-throw line down the stretch, scoring just one point in three trips to the line, the Lakers drained a pair of 3-point shots and drew a foul on another 3-point attempt and sank all three free throws to make things interesting.

“We did a lot of good things, but we did some bonehead things, too,” Reinland said. “But the kids fought hard and beat a very good basketball team.”

Sophomore point guard Landon Radliff continued his torrid scoring pace with 31 points to lead the Warriors on offense. Radliff tallied 38 points in Saturday’s win over Green River, his second 38-point outing of the season.

Brandon Porter added 20 points for the Walla Wallans and Jake Albright came off the bench to tally 10 points and garner 10 rebounds.

Southwest Oregon reserve Moses Miller scored 25 points to lead his team, with James Walljasper putting up 19 points and Steven Price 16. Walljasper scored the majority of his points in the first half against WWCC’s man defense.

The Warriors will reconvene the day after Christmas and return to action Dec. 28 at the Clackamas Holiday Tournament in Oregon City. WWCC will face Clackamas, Centralia and Edmonds in the three-day event.

Warriors 86, Lakers 85

WALLA WALLA (86) — Porter 8-22 1-4 20, Thacker 0-4 102 1, Radliff 9-23 7-10 31, Watson 2-3 0-0 4, Engstrom 4-4 1-3 9, Tiller 0-0 1-2 1, Anderson 0-0 2-2 2, Albright 5-8 0-0 10, McKone 3-4 0-0 8. Totals 31-68 13-23 86.

SOUTHWEST OREGON (85) — Berry 2-5 0-0 4, Walljasper 8-14 0-0 19, Christman 3-7 0-0 9, Bradford 1-3 1-2 3, Price 7-11 1-2 16, Canencia 1-1 0-0 2, Miller 8-11 3-5 25, Curtis 2-5 0-0 5, Washburn 1-3 0-0 2, Sailors 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 33-61 5-9 85.

Halftime — SW Oregon 52, WWCC 44. 3-point goals — WWCC 11-35 (Porter 3-12 Thacker 0-3, Radliff 6-16, Watson 0-1 McKone 2-3), SW Oregon 14-23 (Walljasper 3-5, Christman 3-5, Bradford 0-1, Price 1-1, Miller 6-8, Curtis 1-2, Sailors 0-1). Total fouls — SW Oregon 19, WWCC 14. Fouled out — WWCC (Engstrom). Technical fouls — SW Oregon (Skyler, Bradford). Rebounds — WWCC 35 (Albright 10), SW Oregon 33 (Berry 10). Turnovers — SW Oregon 19, WWCC 11. Assists — SW Oregon 18 (Walljasper 9), WWCC 11 (Radliff 5).

Union Bulletin