Basketball: Wa-Hi boys D-up on Hanford

January 10, 2014 

The Walla Walla boys basketball team put on a defensive clinic Friday night.

The Blue Devils held Hanford to just 11 first-half points and forced 16 turnovers in a 61-38 Mid-Columbia Conference victory in Richland.

“We played great defense tonight,” Walla Walla senior Gabe Porter said. “Holding a team to 11 points at halftime is tremendous. That’s what we are capable of.”

With the win, Walla Walla (7-4 overall, 3-2 league) moved into a tie for third place with Kennewick, while Hanford (2-8, 1-4) fell to seventh place.

The Falcons jumped out to a quick 9-3 lead on two 3-pointers by Kendall Watson and a layup and free throw from Jacob Sivonen, but from there it was all Walla Walla.

The Blue Devils went on a 26-2 run spanning all the way into the third quarter, eventually taking a 29-11 lead.

“They got off to a good start,” Walla Walla coach John Golden said. “We finally started pushing forward, pushing the pace, and it was a good defensive effort from that point.”

Walla Walla outscored Hanford 11-2 in the second quarter, as there seemed to be a lid on the Falcons’ basket. Sivonen had the lone bucket on a layup, and Hanford even missed four free throws in the quarter.

On the other side, the Blue Devils got out in transition and moved the ball well, resulting in plenty of layups for Porter, Spencer Locati and Eric Klicker.

“We just got the ball out and hustled down the court,” Porter said. “We ran the court great tonight and had some guys hitting. It was just a good game.”

Porter had nine points, Klicker seven and Ross Lake four during the big run.

The win was especially important for Walla Walla because of the one it felt it gave away a week ago at Southridge. The Blue Devils were outscored 26-19 in the fourth quarter, falling 56-54 to the Suns.

There was no letup this Friday, though, as Walla Walla kept pouring it on throughout.

“This win was very important to us, especially on the road,” Porter said.

Porter finished with a game-high 15 points and seven rebounds, while Klicker had 13 points and three steals and Lake 12 points.

“We’ve been working on defense and it is starting to show,” Golden said. “This was a nice way to come back from last week’s loss. Anytime you can get a win on the road, it is nice.”

Grant Mickelson’s 11 points led the Falcons, while Watson finished with eight.

WALLA WALLA — Ross Lake 3 6-7 12, Gabe Porter 4 6-8 15, Eric Klicker 5 1-1 13, Darnell Handcox 2 0-0 4, Andrew Harvey 2 0-0 4, Spencer Locati 2 2-2 6, Josh Giles 1 0-0 2, Dylan Steele 1 0-0 2, Nate Sumerlin 0 0-0 0, Andrew Gogl 1 1-1 3, Adam Little 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 16-19 61.

HANFORD — Kendall Watson 3 0-0 8, Grant Mickelson 3 3-4 11, Jacob Sivonen 3 1-3 7, Brady Heid 0 2-4 2, Ben Seaman 2 2-2 7, Kedrick Skinner 0 0-2 0, Thomas Hannu 1 1-2 3, Conner Sutey 0 0-0 0, Kevon Skinner 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 9-17 38.

Walla Walla 14 11 18 18 — 61

Hanford 9 2 15 12 — 38

3-point goals—WW 3 (Klicker 2, Porter), H 5 (Watson 2, Mickelson 2, Seaman). Rebounds—WW 41 (Handcox 10), H 32 (Sivonen 8). Steals—WW 10 (Klicker, Steele 3), H 5 (Mickelson 2). Assists—WW 10 (Porter, Klicker 2), H 7 (Hannu 2). Turnovers—WW 13, H 16. Fouls—WW 18, H 13.

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