PASCO -- The Chiawana revenge tour got off to a rousing start Friday.
The Riverhawks boys basketball team avenged two regular-season losses to Walla Walla, ending the Blue Devils' season with a 52-41 victory in the Class 4A District 5/6 tournament at Chiawana.
"It was hard to swallow that they swept us in the regular season," Chiawana's Jordan Downing said. "All week in practice we worked on getting our bigs involved and we emphasized attacking the basket and it carried over into the game."
Downing finished with a game-high 16 points, consistently getting to the basket against Walla Walla's Rob Ferenz and Tanner Cranor.
It wasn't just Downing's scoring that made the difference, though, as the 6-foot-0 post showed off tremendous passing skill, finishing with five assists.
"Jordan is an excellent passer," Chiawana coach Chad Herron said. "He is a great low post scorer and when the defense collapses, he is able to hit the perimeter players.
"He played the way I thought he would as an experienced senior who knew this was an important game."
Downing's play was even more important considering Miquiyah Zamora picked up his second foul halfway through the first quarter and sat the rest of the half.
Josue Torres and Zachary Mendoza picked up the slack, though, finishing with 11 and 10 points respectively. Torres hit three 3-pointers, while Mendoza added one.
"It's always nervewracking when a player of his talent is not on the floor," Downing said of Zamora. "But there is nothing you can do, but pull together and pick up the slack."
The victory ends Walla Walla's season, while Chiawana plays at Richland at 7 p.m. today in another elimination game. The winner of that game hosts the District 8 No. 2 seed Tuesday in a play-in game for the state tournament.
"When we get together, it's not only a physical battle but an emotional one," Herron said of Richland. "That loss last week (Richland won 64-58) left a sour taste and our kids are anxious to play them (tonight)."
On Friday, the Riverhawks were anxious to show the regular season sweep by the Blue Devils was a mirage.
Chiawana played stellar defense, harassing Walla Walla's shooters and not allowing Cranor or Ferenz to use their height as an advantage underneath.
"We just didn't shoot well enough to win," Walla Walla coach John Golden said. "You have to give them credit defensively."
Walla Walla took a brief lead in the third quarter and remained within striking distance into the fourth quarter, but trailing 43-37 with under 4 minutes left, the Blue Devils couldn't convert and Downing had a layup on the other end to help put the game away.
"All week we had practiced well and the kids were very well prepared," Herron said. "I had a good feeling coming in and this was a good team win."
Nick Peasley's 10 points led Walla Walla, while Josh Eggers finished with seven.
WALLA WALLA -- Moe Handcox 1 1-2 3, Rob Ferenz 3 0 -2 6, Nick Peasley 4 2-2 10, Tanner Cranor 2 1-4 5, Spencer Locati 1 0-0 3, Josh Eggers 3 0-2 7, Kyle Jameson 1 3-4 5, Gabe Porter 1 0-0 2, Blake Rowley 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 7-16 41.
CHIAWANA -- Jordan Downing 6 4-4 16, Miquiyah Zamora 3 1-3 8, Alex Babinchuk 2 1-4 5, Josue Torres 3 2-2 11, Zachary Mendoza 3 3-4 10, Enrique Perez 0 0-0 0, Wesley Henderson 0 0-0 0, Brandon Mendoza 1 0-0 2. Totals 18 11-17 52.
Walla Walla 11 10 11 9 -- 41
Chiawana 17 7 13 15 -- 52
3-point goals -- Walla Walla 2 (Eggers, Locati), Chiawana 5 (Torres 3, Zamora, Z. Mendoza). Total fouls -- Walla Walla 16, Chiawana 15. Fouled out -- none. Rebounds -- Walla Walla 43 (Ferenz 9), Chiawana 33 (Downing 9). Turnovers -- Walla Walla 10, Chiawana 8.