Bomber boys claim MCC's 4A top seed

January 25, 2013 

Christmas may be all packed up for the year, but there still is something Nathan Streufert wants to give his father, Richland boys basketball coach Earl Streufert.

Nathan got a chance to work toward that goal Friday night with the Bombers’ 83-59 Mid-Columbia Conference victory over Walla Walla at Art Dawald Gymnasium.

The win gave Richland the No. 1 seed to the upcoming 4A district tournament, though the league lead still rests with Kamiakin, a half game ahead of the Bombers.

“Richland hasn’t won a league title since my dad’s been here. He’s won four district titles, but no league titles,” Nathan said. “I always wanted to give that to him.”

His son sure played a big part in the victory — the Bombers’ seventh in the last eight tries.

Streufert netted 19 points with four assists, three rebounds and a blocked shot for good measure, exemplifying the well-balanced lineup that Richland displayed against the Blue Devils.

“I was pleased with the effort. We can give more, but I thought we showed some patience on defense and we shared the ball early,” coach Streufert said.

Walla Walla (11-7, 6-6 MCC) scored the first two points of the game — an offensive putback by 6-foot-8 post Tanner Cranor — and took a 9-8 lead on a Sam Arias 3-pointer with 4:22 left in the first quarter. The Bombers (14-4, 10-2) responded with a 17-4 run to close out the quarter.

Payton Radliff had the hot hand early for Richland, dicing up the Blue Devils’ defense for 11 first-quarter points. He drilled a 3-pointer from the right wing during the run but also added a pair of three-point plays the hard way, getting a bucket in the lane, drawing a foul and converting the and-one.

Richland led 26-11 after eight minutes and never trailed after that.

But it wasn’t necessarily the scorers who did the most damage for the Bombers. Mason Hilty fronted Cranor most of the night, holding one of the MCC’s top scorers to just nine points. Hilty also grabbed six rebounds and added a pair of steals.

“The smart money would be putting your 6-7 guy (Nathan) on their 6-8 guy,” coach Streufert said. “(Hilty) is pretty crafty for a 6-foot post player. Cranor missed a few he usually makes.”

Jacob DeVries scored just two points, but his defense helped set the tone for Richland with four steals. Two of them came on back-to-back possessions in the fourth quarter, when Richland extended a 72-54 lead with 4:04 left.

“I just try to play every play, and if the opportunity is there (for a steal) I take it,” DeVries said.

“It was one of those nights where Jacob was doing a lot of the dirty work — rebounding, defending and setting screens. He was chasing (Gabe) Porter all around the court,” Streufert said. “He was out of the mix offensively, but the other guys were willing and able.”

Porter finished with 18 points to lead the Blue Devils, who have lost seven of their last nine games but still has a chance to claim the No. 2 district seed. Wa-Hi will play host to Kamiakin (today, 7:30 p.m.) and Chiawana (7:30 p.m., Friday) to close out the regular season.

Pasco (6-11, 5-7) trails the Blue Devils by a game with two to play. The Bulldogs will play host to Kennewick today and Southridge on Friday.

“We just need to refocus ourselves for the next two games,” Cranor said. “We need a win tomorrow to boost our confidence.”

WALLA WALLA — Klicker 6, Gabe Porter 18, Eggart, Arias 11, Cranor 9, Toon, Thonney, Hogan, Knillman 2, Gilmore 4, Warriner. Totals 23-49 11-18 59.

RICHLAND — DeVries 2, Beo 16, Payton Radliff 24, Hilty 12, Streufert 19, Crandall, Baird, McCullough 2, Perry, Broeske 4, Wheeler 4. Totals 33-53 11-16 83.

Walla Walla 11 19 16 13 — 59

Richland 26 17 17 23 — 83

Highlights — 3-pointers: WW 2 (Klicker, Arias), R 5 (Radliff 2, Beo, Streufert, Broeske); Rebounds: WW 21 (Cranor 8), R 25 (Streufert 7, Hilty 7); Turnovers: WW 19, R 25; Steals: WW 9 (Klicker 3), R 11 (DeVries 4).

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