Walla Walla Community College
Men's Basketball

WWCC men knock off North Idaho

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — Walla Walla came here Wednesday night figuring it had nothing to lose in a Northwest Athletic Conference East Region men’s basketball game.

So the Warriors didn’t.

Marcus McKone’s in-your-face 3-point basket with less than a minute remaining in the game gave WWCC its first lead and Landon Radliff’s two free throws with seven seconds on the clock sealed an 85-82 victory over North Idaho College.

“Their athletic director told me after the game that that was their first home loss in four years,” Warriors coach Jeff Reinland said. “It was unbelievable.”

North Idaho has long been regarded as one of the two-year men’s basketball jugernauts in the Pacific Northwest. The Cardinals are now in their second year as a member of the NWAC.

The home team dominated the game early, leading by as many as 18 points, 42-24, before the Warriors gradually fought back. Walla Walla cut the Cardinals’ advantage to 10 points, 48-38, at the intermission and then scored the first six points of the second half.

“They were all juiced up at the start,” Reinland said of the Cardinals. “They were making everything and we were missing everything.

“But our guys didn’t pout. They just stayed the course, cut it to 10 at the half and all of a sudden it’s a four-point game early in the second half.”

North Idaho rebuilt its lead to 12 points, Reinland said, before his team went on another run. McKone worked himself free for a jumper in the lane that tied the game at 80-80 with about 1:30 remaining.

“Then we got a stop on defense and were working the clock,” Reinland said. “We were pretty patient, maybe too patient, because we passed up a couple of shots.

“But Marcus got the ball right in front of our bench and drained an NBA 3 with a guy in his face just as the shot clock was running out.”

After another defensive stop, the Warriors had a chance to add to their three-point lead. But Jake Albright missed the front end of a one-and-one free-throw opportunity, which allowed North Idaho’s RayQuan Evans to drive for an uncontested layin that chopped WWCC’s lead to a single point.

The Cardinals were forced to foul at that point, Radliff made two free throws and North Idaho’s desperation 3-point shot at the buzzer didn’t come close.

Radliff led the Warriors with 31 points, Damen Thacker scored 16 points and McKone finished with 15 off the bench. North Idaho’s Evans tallied 27 points and Jalen Burkett and Charles Williams added 15 points each.

“They are athletically so superior to us,” Reinland said of the Cardinals. “And they’re big. We didn’t score anything inside, but we didn’t try real hard to go inside because we knew it was futile.

“One thing we did was make their big guys come out and defend on the perimeter, and they struggled with that.”

The Warriors are now 4-1 in the East and share the top rung of the standings with Spokane and Wenatchee. They take a 14-4 season record into a Saturday afternoon home game against Blue Mountain.

“We just have to keep grinding away,” Reinland said. “It has not been an easy 14-4. It’s not supposed to be.”

Warriors 85, Cardinals 82

WALLA WALLA (85) — Porter 3-8 0-0 8, Thacker 6-14 1-2 16, Radliff 9-21 7-7 31, Watson 3-5 0-0 6, Albright 1-4 0-1 2, Tiller 0-0 0-0 0, Anderson 2-4 0-0 5, Engstrom 1-2 0-0 2, McKone 6-11 0-0 15. Totals 31-69 8-10 85

NORTH IDAHO (82) — Evans 10-26 7-7 27, Burkett 6-10 3-8 15, Williams 4-9 5-6 15, Brimhall 3-8 2-2 8, Christiaens 1-2 1-1 3, Lundblad 0-1 0-0 0, Potts-Woods 2-6 2-2 7, McLaughlin 2-7 3-6 7, Cowley 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 38-69 23-32 82.

Halftime — North Idaho 48, WWCC 38. 3-point goals — WWCC 15-36 (Porter 2-5, Thacker 3-9, Radliff 6-13, Albright 0-1, Anderson 1-1, McKone 3-7), NI 3-12 (Evans 0-2, Williams 2-4, Brimhall 0-1, Lundblad 0-1, P:otts-Woods 1-2). Total fouls — WWCC 21, NI 16. Fouled out — WWCC (Engstrom). Technical fouls — none. Rebounds — NI 48 (Evans 12), WWCC 37 (Thacker 6). Turnovers — WWCC 10, NI 5. Assists — WWCC 11 (Radliff 4), NI 9 (Burkett 3).

Union Bulletin