The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Dave Schreindl
the Times 

Boys celebrate the team's first win as a combined Dayton-Waitsburg basketball program


December 19, 2019

Eric Umphrey

#10 Mason Finney shoots a free throw.

As the clock wound down in the tight contest between neighboring schools Prescott and Dayton-Waitsburg, the intensity from inside the Dayton gymnasium increased until it overflowed, following a narrow D-W win of 54-49 in the non-league contest.

To set the scene, the Dayton-Waitsburg boys basketball team had not won a game in 23 tries, had come off three tough losses featuring poor shooting, and the Prescott Tigers came to the contest after convincing victories over Bickleton and Moses Lake Christian.

"This win means a lot, it was our first in three years," Sophomore Guard Dylan Bledsoe said smiling courtside following the historic victory.

Two more factors fueled the home crowd anxiety, including a poor first half by the home team, and a dominating performance by the visitors. The second factor saw a reversal of fortunes as D-W built an 11-point lead just prior to the end of the third quarter.

After two missed free throws, Senior forward Tayven Seney redeemed himself with a shot under the basket with 39 seconds left. After a wild series of missed shots by Prescott, D-W gained and kept the lead for good, at 52-48.

Prescott had an opportunity to tie and even take the lead, but instead the ball refused to go through the net three straight times. Still, the Tigers would not give up as Dayton-Waitsburg missed four straight free throws including two straight one-and-ones. In the end, another D-W player, Junior Colton VanBlaricom redeemed himself for the earlier missed free throws and made two free throws with 1.8 seconds left.

With the sound of the swishing net on the final free throw, pandemonium followed as the student section stormed the court to celebrate the team's first win as a combined Dayton-Waitsburg basketball program.

It truly was a tale of two halves. Prescott jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead before Mason Finney put Dayton-Waitsburg on the board three and a half minutes into the first quarter. A 3-point shot by 6'3" senior forward Miguel Ayala at the end of the first half put the Tigers up 24-17.

Bledsoe took the challenge to heart as he hit the half's first shots, both 3-pointers, starting Dayton-Waitsburg's 14-0 run following the intermission.

D-W Head Coach Roy Ramirez said regarding the big win. "At half-time we just challenged them to come out with a lot of energy and a lot of passion, and they did. They came out and shot the ball well and we moved the ball to where the open guy was, and they did a good job," D-W Head Coach Roy Ramirez said regarding the big win.

Prescott Head Coach Allyn Griffin also testified to the importance of a solid start to the second half. "We always like to play the first four minutes well, and win the first four minutes, which we didn't do," he said.

Prescott big man Ayala also felt his team did well and learned from the experience. "I thought the game went good, we were winning in the first half," he said. "There were just communication issues through defensive transitions, which we need to work on," he added.

Prescott returned to the court Friday at home against Garfield-Palouse in their first league contest. Dayton-Waitsburg faced Finley at home in a non-league matchup.

Dayton-Waitsburg 54, Prescott 49

PRESCOTT (49) – Cardenas 17, Ayala 15, Garcia 8, Velazco 4, Hernandez 3. Totals 18 10-15 49.

DAYTON-WAITSBURG (54) – Finney 20, Bledsoe 17, VanBlaricom 9, Seney 6, White 2. Totals 22 4-13 54.

P 16 8 9 16 -- 49

DW 8 9 25 12 -- 54

3-point goals – P 2 (Cardenas 2), DW 6 (Bledsoe 3, Finney 2, VanBlaricom). Total fouls – P 14, DW 19. Fouled out – P (Cardenas), DW (Finney). Technical fouls – P (Cardenas). Rebounds – P 21 (Ayala 8), DW 20 (VanBlaricom 7). Turnovers – P 23, DW 22. Assists – P 8 (Cardenas 4), DW 14 (VanBlaricom 5).


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