Walla Walla Community College
Men's Basketball

WWCC men triumphant over Wenatchee, 96-78

Courtesy of Jim Buchan of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin

WALLA WALLA  — Jeff Reinland wasn’t warmed by the glow that an 18-point victory over a league rival is supposed to provide as he left the locker room late Saturday afternoon in the Dietrich Dome.

As a matter of fact, Walla Walla Community College’s men’s head basketball coach was in what might more accurately be described as a foul mood as he dissected his team’s 96-78 NWAACC Eastern Region victory over visiting Wenatchee.

“I didn’t think we played well at all,” Reinland said. “We made enough plays to win, but we had trouble getting any kind of energy out of the kids on offense. We all had that glazed-over look on our faces.

Wenatchee is a good team and they played hard. I thought they played harder than we did. And I don’t like the end of games like this one. They leave a bad taste in your mouth.”

Reinland was talking about a second half in which both teams spent an inordinate amount of time at the free-throw line. The Warriors shot 28 free throws over the final 20 minutes and sank 22 of them while the Knights were 12-of-16 from the line after the intermission.

“I thought they were calling way too many fouls,” Reinland said. “They were consistent, but it’s the way the game is being played and the way it’s being called. Kids get frustrated because they just want to play.”

Trailing 44-27 at the break, Wenatchee’s game plan in the second half was obvious enough. Drive to the basket on every possession hoping for a basket or a foul, which was often the result.

And when the Warriors had the ball, the Knights’ aggressive defense resulted in fouls that sent the home team to the line time and time again.

“That has become the coaching strategy at this level,” Reinland said.

None of it changed the outcome.

With freshman guard Satchel Schetzle using his quickness and ball handling skills to get to the hoop, and with several of his teammates bombing away from 3-point distance, the Warriors never trailed in running their season record to 9-8 and improving to 2-1 in the NWAACC East. Wenatchee dipped to 0-4 in league play and 6-11 overall.

Schetzle led all scorers with 30 points as he converted eight of his 12 shots from the floor and was 12-for-14 from the charity stripe. He also finished with a game-high five assists.

Sophomore transfer Joel Underdahl was 6-for-13 from the field and 9-of-11 from the line for 23 points. Garret Sawyer, another freshman guard, was 3-for-6 from 3-point distance and tallied 16 points.

The Warriors sank 12-of-29 3-pointers in the game and were 27-for-57 overall from the field. They held a 38-26 rebounding advantage, led by 6-foot-6 freshman Nate Richards’ game-high 12 rebounds.

Kevin Hofstad scored 23 points, TJ Reynolds tallied 19 and Aaron Ward added 13 to lead the Wenatchee offense. Ward also had a team-high seven rebounds.

The Warriors scored the final 10 points of the first half to build a 17-point halftime advantage and extended it to as many as 28 points, 86-58, with 4:50 remaining in the game. Reynolds sank a 3-point bucket at the buzzer to pull the Knights back within 18 points at the end, and that was another reason for Reinland’s bad mood afterward.

The Warriors had the ball and were running out the final seconds of the game when Schetzle intentionally bounced the ball to Reynolds, who looked as if he didn’t know what to do with it before deciding to shoot as the buzzer sounded.

“We owe Wenatchee a big apology for that,” Reinland said. “That’s not what my program stands for. I’ve got no time for that.”

The Warriors will be back in action in the Dietrich Dome Monday night when they face Treasure Valley in a makeup game. The Chukars were originally scheduled to visit WWCC last Saturday night but postponed the trip because of the high-wind warnings.

Game time is 3 p.m.

Box Score