Walla Walla Community College
Men's Basketball

WWCC picks up seventh win in row to open season

BELLEVUE, Wash. — In 32 previous years as a head basketball coach, Jeff Reinland had never started a season with seven consecutive victories.

Now in his 33rd season and his 25th as the men’s head basketball coach at Walla Walla Community College, he can no longer say that.

The Warriors took down Chemeketa 95-80 here Sunday in the championship game of the Bulldogs Classic at Bellevue CC to run their record to 7-0 and claim the tourney championship for the second time in three years.

“This is the best start I’ve ever had,” Reinland said. “Never in my career have I been 7-0, and it’s kind of interesting.”

Interesting as well in light of the fact that Reinland is coming off his first championship season. The Warriors claimed the Northwest Athletic Conference crown last March in Everett.

But Reinland isn’t sure there is a correlation.

“I think it’s more a product of the talent we have assembled this year,” the coach said. “I don’t think these kids think about last year. A lot of them weren’t even here.

“We’re just playing well,” Reinland said. “We may be a bit better defensive team than a year ago, but we are still kind of streaky on offense. We play well and then we have some lulls.”

The Warriors went on one of those offensive streaks early in the second half after the Storm had scored the first five points after the intermission to take a 41-40 lead.

“The game teetered back and forth for the next five or six minutes and then we went on a really good run and got up 19 points,” Reinland said. “From there on out it was kind of over.”

Brandon Porter, who led all scorers with 26 points, fueled the run, Reinland said. Damen Thacker, who was right behind Porter with 22 points, was a big part of it as well and reserve post Jake Albright was a factor and finished the game with 14 points and seven rebounds.

Landon Radliff, the only returning starter from last year’s NWAC championship team, spent most of the game in foul trouble and managed just nine points. Radliff picked up his third foul with about 12 minutes still to play in the first half and was then assessed a technical foul after taking a seat on the bench.

“Rad didn’t get to play all that much,” Reinland said. “He sat the remainder of the first half and I didn’t put him back in until about the six-minute mark of the second half.

“But we played well without him, and he’s going to have to learn.”

Mason Elliot scored 23 points and Jack Frazier added 22 for Chemeketa, which suffered only its second defeat in nine games.

The Warriors will take their unblemished record to Edmonds this weekend for an NWAC crossover tournament. WWCC will face Edmonds Friday, Green River Saturday and Southwest Oregon Sunday.

Warriors 95, Storm 80

WALLA WALLA (95) — Porter 9-17 4-5 26, Thacker 7-13 6-7 22, Radliff 3-6 2-2 9, Watson 5-7 1-2 11, Engstrom 2-2 0-0 4, Tiller 1-1 0-0 3, Smith 0-1 0-0 0, Anderson 0-1 0-0 0, Albright 6-7 2-4 14, McKone 2-8 1-2 6. Totals 35-63 16-22 95.

CHEMEKETA (82) — Elliott 8-14 4-6 23, Evans 2-5 0-0 5, Frazier 5-15 11-13 22, Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Zavydovskyy 0-1 1-2 1, Daniels 3-5 3-4 9, Merriweather 0-4 1-2 1, Richey 5-7 0-0 11, McKinstryy II 3-3 0-0 8. Totals 26-54 20-27 80.

Halftime — WWCC 40, Chemeketa 36. 3-point goals — WWCC 9-23 (Porter 4-7, Thacker 2-3, Radliff 1-4, Tiller 1-1, Smith 0-1, McKone 1-7), Chemeketa 8-16 (Elliott 3-6, Evans 1-3, Frazier 1-3, Richey 1-2, MccKinstry II 2-2). Total fouls — WWCC 21, Chemeketa 21. Fouled out — WWCC (Watson), Chemeketa (Merriweather). Technical fouls — WWCC (Radliff), Chemeketa (Merriweather). Rebounds — WWCC 28 (Watson 7, Albright 7), Chemeketa 26 (Elliott 5, Evans 5, Johnson 5). Turnovers — Chemeketa 16, WWCC 8. Assists — WWCC 10 (Albright 4), Chemeketa 7 (Evans 5).

Union Bulletin