Shortly after the Richland boys basketball team shot 40 percent from the field Friday in a scrappy 58-54 road win over Eastmont, Bombers coach Earl Streufert joked that he was glad his team didn't waste any good shooting against the Wildcats.
His playful remark had a ring of truth to it in front of a packed Art Dawald Gym on Saturday night.
In a battle of undefeated teams, the Bombers shot 57 percent (29-for-51) in a 72-51 win over the Kamiakin Braves, giving Richland sole possession of first place in the Cascade Division. It is Streufert's best start through 11 seasons at Richland.
Senior Garrett Gallinger hit 10 of 14 shots for a season-high 22 points for the Bombers (10-0, 4-0 Cascade). The 6-foot-3 post even hit 2 of 2 from 3-point range as he and fellow pivot Calvin Douglas helped set the tone for the Bombers' offense.
"We executed pretty darn well," Streufert said. "We really established ourselves inside and executed on defense. We weren't perfect, but I'm really pleased, because that's the way you have to win in this league."
Gallinger scored five points during an 8-0 first-quarter run that gave Richland a 13-6 lead over the Braves (9-1, 3-1).
Douglas got involved in the second quarter, scoring eight points during the frame -- including a soft-14-footer from the left baseline with two seconds left in the half -- to stake the Bombers to a 38-28 halftime lead. Douglas finished with 11 points.
"I think what really got us going was just moving the ball on offense," Gallinger said.
The win was also a point of pride for Richland after Kamiakin's 71-65 win in last year's regular season finale between the two teams at Art Dawald. In that game, Shad Fletcher took the Bombers by surprise, scoring a game-high 25 points. But in Saturday's win, Richland held Fletcher a junior guard, scoreless with four turnovers.
"We had good discipline on (Fletcher)," Streufert said. "Last year when they beat us here, I didn't do a good job as coach making adjustments. I'm not going to make that mistake against a team this good again."
This time, Case Rada led the Braves with 26 points, hitting 11 of 19 shots, including 3 of 5 from behind the 3-point arc. But he and Justin Pedley (13 points) combined for over three-quarters of Kamiakin's offense, while the Braves' defense struggled to stop Richland on offense.
"When you play good teams you can't give them open looks on defense," said Kamiakin coach Brian Meneely. "We had some pretty poor defensive rotations, which led to some open layins."
The Bombers opened the second half by forcing four Braves turnovers and outscored Kamiakin 12-5 over the next eight minutes for a 50-33 lead. Senior guard Dylan Radliff kept the momentum going in the fourth quarter, drilling a long 3-pointer -- his fourth of the game -- from the left wing on Richland's first possession for a 53-33 lead.
"This was a big confidence booster for us," said Radliff, who tied his season-high with 17 points. "We just played our own defensive game and tried to keep Rada out of the key."
Rada did finish strong, scoring nine points in the fourth quarter, but by then Richland's lead was virtually insurmountable.
"It's a league game, and any game on the road is going to be tough," Rada said. "We just didn't execute as well as we needed to."
Case Rada 26, Holle 4, Fletcher, Anderson 4, Pedley 13, Hayfield 2, Welch, Hunt. Totals 23-46 1-1 51.
Dunford 4, Radliff 17, McCargar 9, Garrett Gallinger 22, Douglas 11, Hilty, Dunn, Gr.Gallinger 9, Briggs. Totals 29-51 7-14 72.
Kamiakin 15 13 5 18 — 51
Richland 18 20 12 22 — 72
Highlights — Radliff 4x7 3-ptrs, 6 rbs, 5 asts; Rada 3x5 3-ptrs; Dunford 7 asts; McCargar 4 asts; Douglas 3 stls; Anderson 6 rebs; Holle 5 asts; Richland 3 turnovers.