PASCO -- Attention must be paid to Walla Walla's big two of Gary Winston and Michael Weisner.
But that attention comes at a price, one Chiawana paid down the stretch in a 64-58 CBBN Cascade home loss Saturday night.
The Riverhawks played a diamond-and-one defense all game, with Miquiyah Zamora locked on the University of Idaho-bound Winston, while the University of Montana-bound Weisner also drew special notice wherever he went.
That left Wa-Hi's understudies to do damage in the fourth quarter.
Colton Arias scored six points in the period, Ryan James hit a go-ahead jumper with 3 minutes left and Seth Alden rattled in a decisive 3-pointer with 1:17 left to help the seventh-ranked Blue Devils survive.
"That's what we need," said Winston, who still led Wa-Hi with 24 points, but only five came in the second half. "This was my second night in a row playing 32 minutes, and I was getting a little tired. We just need people to step up and contribute like they did tonight."
Wa-Hi was coming off a 51-49 home win over No. 4 Richland the night before, was playing its third game in four nights, and coach John Golden was concerned about a letdown.
"Absolutely. That was a big game last night, and we spent a lot of energy and emotion," Golden said. "We knew Chad (Herron) had all week to get his guys ready, and they played awfully well."
Indeed, the Riverhawks did everything right for 3 1/2 quarters to stay with the Blue Devils.
Sophomore Jordan Downing scored a career-high 29 points, muscling his way into the paint to go 14-of-23 from the field, and Zamora added 17 points along with his defensive duties.
"Jordan and Miquiyah are two of the most mature sophomores that I've coached in my career,"said Herron. "I'm very happy with the effort we showed tonight. We were right there. We had our chances."
In the end, Wa-Hi escaped, thanks in large part to three offensive rebounds in the last three minutes -- all of which led to points -- and a pair of steals.
Zamora's runner tied the game at 54 with 4:05 to play. Arias' putback gave Wa-Hi the lead, but Zamora answered with a pullup jumper with 2:45 left.
Winston then missed, but James got an offensive rebound and was fouled. Winston inbounded to James, who banked in an 8-footer with 2:30 left.
Weisner and James then got steals on back-to-back possessions, and Weisner found Alden in the left corner for the junior's only basket of the game and a 61-56 lead.
Winston hit 3 of 4 free throws in the final minute to seal the win.
"That 3 changed the complexion of the game," Herron said. "It's tough to match up in a gimmick defense. Personally, I prefer man-to-man, but Gary demands extra attention."
Weisner finished with 22 points and nine rebounds.
WALLA WALLA (64)
Gary Winston 24, Aguiar 3, Arias 8, Weisner 22, James 2, Porter, Maddess 2, Alden 3, Watson, Sumerlin. Totals 25-61 6-7 64.
Jordan Downing 29, Smith 4, Walter 2, Zamora 17, Dewitt 6, Graff. Totals 24-58 7-14 58.
Walla Walla 15 21 12 16 -- 64
Chiawana 18 16 11 13 -- 58
Highlights -- WW 8x21 3pt, Chi 3x11; WW 32 rbs, Chi 38; WW 7 TOs, Chi 10; Michael Weisner 9 rbs, 3 blks, 3 stls; Colton Arias 6 rbs; Downing 10 rbs; Stephen Walter 9 rbs; Justin Smith 6 rbs, 3 asts; Kyler DeWitt 6 rbs.