Walla Walla Community College
Men's Basketball

WWCC men top Centralia

The East region champ Warriors get through the first round with a 63-60 win.

EVERETT, WASH. — Walla Walla Community College came back from a three-point deficit in the last 10 minutes here Saturday in NWAC men’s basketball tournament action. The Warriors, following Centralia’s  Collin Prangley’s layup with 10:02 left in the game, trailed 63-60. The Warriors righted the ship and opened defense of their 2017 championship with an 84-80 win over Centralia.

The Warriors move to the quarterfinals and face Linn-Benton, an 81-72 winner over Edmonds Saturday, today at 4 p.m.

The Warriors controlled the first half and ended the half on a Gary Engstrom dunk off a feed from Landon Radliff to go to intermission up 43-35.

The Trailblazers hung around until Marqus Gilson hit two free throws, two of his 33 points for the game, to narrow the Warrior lead to 60-59 with 11:23 to play. A minute later, Tyler Meadows hit a layin for a 61-60 Trailblazer lead. Prangley hit his layup to push the Centralia lead to 63-60.

“They (Centralia) played really well (33-of-57, 58 percent shooting from the floor) with a lot of spirit,” WWCC coach Jeff Reinland said. “We had trouble stopping them. They came back and got the lead mid way in the second half.

“He (Gilson) is very athletic at both ends,” Reinland continued. “We didn’t do a good job of guarding him as both our bigs (Jake Albright and Engstrom) fouled out. We knew he (Gilson) was very good and we expected him to have a big game.”

Radliff hit a Warrior bucket and Brandon Porter drained a trey as the Warriors regained the lead at 65-63 with 9:36 left. Porter’s 3 led the Warriors on a 11-2 run and a 76-65 lead with 4:59 left.

“We haven’t played for 10 days and at times it kind of looked that way as we didn’t shoot very well (32-80 from the floor),” Reinland continued. “We competed hard, and had several chances to put this one away, but we just didn’t shoot well enough (11-36 from three).”

Radliff drained a trey and the Warriors led 83-72 with 1:17 to play. Gilson led the Trailblazers on an 8-1 run over the last 1:17 but the Warriors hung on to move to today’s quarterfinal with the 84-80 win.

“We missed three front ends of one-and-ones, and turned the ball over,” Reinland said of the 8-1 Trailblazer run to end the game.

Radliff led the Warriors with 27 points and six assists. Damen Thacker finished with 21. Jake Albright went for a double, double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Porter gave the Warriors four double digit scorers as he finished with 12.

The Warriors got the lesser of two evils by drawing Linn-Benton in today’s quarterfinals. Edmonds owns two wins over the Warriors this season and WWCC has not faced Linn-Benton.

“We match up better with Linn-Benton,” Reinland said. “Edmonds was a match up problem.”

WWCC 84, Centralia 80

CENTRALIA (80) — Curry 10, Clarke 7, Brown 6, Prangley 9, Gilson 33, Meadows 9, Eiman 6. Totals 33-57 11-20 80.

WWCC (84) — Porter 12, Thacker 21, Radliff 27, Anderson 2, Albright 20, Tiller, Smith, Kitchen, Engstrom 2. Totals 32-80 9-16 84.

Halftime — WWCC 43, Centralia 35. 3-point goals — Cent 3, WWCC 11. Total fouls — Cent 19, WWCC 18. Fouled out — WWCC (Albright, Engstrom). Technical fouls — none. Rebounds — Cent 42, WWCC 42. Turnovers — Cent 17, WWCC 5. Assists — Cent 12, WWCC 12.

Union Bulletin