It's a rare night that the Richland Bombers win a boys basketball game without hitting a 3-point shot.
Sure enough, with Richland's best long-range shooter -- Adam Baker -- out sick, the Bombers went 0-for-9 from the arc, and all but a handful of the team's field goals in Friday's
62-42 home victory over Walla Walla on Friday night came within a 12-foot radius.
That meant getting things done with rebounding and defense.
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Richland outrebounded Walla Walla 38-25 and held the Blue Devils to just two points in the second quarter to open up a comfortable cushion that held up. The win allowed the Bombers (11-4, 4-3) to grab sole possession of third place, while Wa-Hi (6-8, 3-4) slid into fourth place, one game ahead of Moses Lake and Wenatchee.
"We didn't have to (hit 3s). We were pretty efficient inside, and we were unselfish," said Richland coach Earl Streufert. "(Walla Walla) had some pretty good shots they just missed."
Bombers guard Colter Quick made the most of a few mismatches on offense, sneaking inside for several layups in the paint and grabbing 10 rebounds against the smaller Blue Devils guards.
"I haven't been shooting the best, but I knew getting some layups would help," said Quick, a 6-foot-3 junior guard. "On occasion, they'll tell me to muscle up down low, even though there's not much muscle there."
Quick was able to flex his way inside and hit a layin with a foul three times. Though he converted just one three-point play, his presence made a big difference. Quick scored seven points during a 14-2 second-quarter run and finished with a game-high 15 points.
"Quick was aggressive but not foolish," Streufert said. "He used his step-through and his crossover well. He also had five assists."
Walla Walla came in hoping to reverse a trend of four losses in its last five games, including a very close 73-69 loss at Chiawana last Saturday that went down to the very end.
But the Blue Devils started slowly, committing two turnovers on their first four possessions, and hit just two of their first four shots. Moe Handcox scored on the low block off an assist from Seth Alden with 2:44 left in the first quarter to tie the score at 6.
But Richland finished the quarter on an 8-3 run to take a 14-9 lead. The Bombers only added to the lead after that, building it to 28-11 at halftime.
"That was a tough first half. I thought we had some good looks, but nothing was falling," said Walla Walla coach John Golden of the Blue Devils'
22-percent (5-of-23) first-half shooting. "They pressured us, and we couldn't get organized."
The second half didn't start much better for Wa-Hi. Richland opened the third quarter on a 12-6 run to open up a 40-17 lead.
Calvin Douglas had 14 points and 11 rebounds, but one of his biggest contributions of the night was his block on Matt Watson in the lane during the third-quarter run. Watson took a power step from the top of the key, flying toward the hoop where Douglas lay in wait.
The Bombers' 6-6 senior skied to meet Watson, rejecting the shot and sending the Walla Walla senior to the floor. Both teams scrambled for the loose ball, but Richland ended up with possession off the jump ball.
"When he did that, it gave us all so much enthusiasm," Quick said.
Overall, it was a big win for Streufert over his alma mater, where he and Golden coached for three seasons as assistants under Jim Thacker before Streufert became the Bombers coach in 1999.