WARDEN - It’s games like this that make a ballclub glad there’s another one the next night. Kiona-Benton rolled into town, took a 13-point lead by the half, and handed Warden a 78-49 SCAC East loss on Friday night.
The Bears (11-6, 7-4 SCAC East) were big inside and when 6-foot-6 Abe Rheinschmidt got the shot block going it tended to linger in the Cougars (7-10, 4-6 SCAC East) heads for most of the night. Rheinschmidt finished the night with 13 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Xavier Roman had all four of his 3-point goals in the third quarter to finish with a team-high 15 points and helped the Bears break it open in the second half.
“They did a lot of good things. They’re big and they’re athletic and when they get on, they shoot really well,” Warden coach Wes Richins said. “They dominated on the boards and we didn’t have the firepower to stick with them tonight.”
The Bears had three in double digits and two more with nine points. Daniel Rizin, a 6-3 wing, added 13 to the cause. Saul Quinones had three fourth-quarter 3-pointers to finish up with nine points and Justice Bender was 5-of-7 from the line. Both had nine apiece for the Bears.
It didn’t help much that the Cougars lost 6-5 junior Jack Hardman for the season with a separated shoulder. Hardman’s injury came last week
“We played hard and we’ll sure miss Jack,” Richins said. “We just have to lick our wounds and lace ‘em again. We’re going to really have to commit our defense and keep playing hard.”
Warden scored 20 points in the fourth quarter. Michael Egia had two from beyond the arc in the final period to finish with nine points. Dreyton Martinez finished strong in the first half with 11 of his team-high points 19 points. Zach Richins got some state tournament playing time last year as a sophomore. The 6-3 Cougar guard scored nine of his 11 second-half points in the third quarter and finished with 15 points and seven rebounds.
Kiona-Benton 19 12 25 22 - 78
Warden 10 8 11 20 - 49
Kiona-Benton - Justice Bender 9, Saul Quinones 9, Alex Maya 2, Xaiver Roman 15, Dan Rizin 13, Armando Reyes 6, Leo Gomez 4, Isaac Rheinschmidt 5, A. Bender 2, Abe Rheinschmidt 13. Totals: 20 9-15 78
Warden - Jesus Mercado 2, Michael Egia 9, Kaden Skone 2, Wade Visker 5, Zach Richins 15, Dreyton Martinez 19, Totals: 12 7-14 49
River View 78, Warden 77 (OT)
KENNEWICK — Warden was eliminated from district playoff contention after losing to River View 78-77 in overtime.
The Cougars (4-8, 7-11) have two more games, hosting Wahluke on Jan. 30 and at College Place Feb. 2.