Another comeback win for the Warriors

By on January 18, 2017
Warwick  gurad  Alex  Lalovic  maintains  his  concentration  as  Manheim Township’s Brian Hines (35) and Brendan Mellott (right) close the gap. Lalovic scored a game-high 24 points, including eight from the foul line. Photo by Mike Shull

Warwick gurad Alex Lalovic maintains his concentration as Manheim Township’s Brian Hines (35) and Brendan Mellott (right) close the gap. Lalovic scored a game-high 24 points, including eight from the foul line. Photo by Mike Shull

Lalovic scores 22 in victory over PM

Just call them the Comeback Kids.

On more than one occasion this winter, the Warwick boys have trailed going into the fourth quarter, only to pull off a come-from-behind win.

Tuesday night was the latest example.

Trailing by six points, 38-32, against Penn Manor after three, the Warriors saved their best for last, putting together a fourth-quarter rally to drop the Comets 61-53 in Millersville. It was Warwick’s third straight victory.

WHS senior guard Alex Lalovic led all scorers with 22 points, including 12 in the final period, when the Warriors outscored PM 29-15.

While improving to 5-3 L-L (8-7 overall), Warwick remained tied for second in the Section standings with Cedar Crest and Hempfield, three games behind front-running Lebanon (8-0 L-L).

Last Friday, with cross-town rival Manheim Township leading 38-31 after three, Lalovic scored 10 of his game-high 24 points down the stretch.

Five different Warrior players buried free throws.

And the Warwick boys pulled out a thrilling 55-49 Section One win in an electric atmosphere in Lititz.

“It was a big win,” Warrior boss Chris Christensen said. “You don’t have to do much to get them pumped up for that game. I knew we’d be ready to go.”

Lalovic, averaging 18.6 ppg this season, put Warwick up 47-45 on a drive with 1:07 left, and they never relinquished the lead.

“(Alex) makes us go,” Christensen said. “As far as I’m concerned, he’s the best player in Section One in my eyes. He’s been unbelievable for us, and the best part is, he’s making everybody else better along with still scoring his points. We’re asking him to play a lot of minutes and battle at both ends of the floor and he’s a tough kid. He’s just doing an all-around good job, and his leadership along with the other seniors … their never-give-up attitude has been really good for us.”

Brendan Mellott led the Blue Streaks (3-4 L-L, 6-6 overall) with 18 points and Brian Hines added 10.

Mellott scored six in the opening frame when MT took an early 14-7 lead. They were up 20-9 in the second quarter when Warwick, going to a trap, ended the period on an 8-0 run.

Lalovic and Tyler Trimachi, who finished with 13 points, each hit a trey, as the Warriors made it a ball game going to the locker room, 20-17.

Manheim Township twin towers Nick Vicidomini (6-foot-7) and Hines (6-foor-6) were held to just six combined points in the opening half.

“We kinda knew what they wanted to do,” Christensen said, “and we knew if we could somewhat control five feet in from the hoop … they have some big guys that we put ourselves in a good spot (against) and Bryan Rottkamp and Alex really did a good job covering some people they were giving up five or six inches to.”

Although Trimarchi buried two of his three treys in the third, Mellott had a hot hand at the other end, scoring eight points and Tyler Crespo added a trey of his own, helping the Blue Streaks extended their advantage to 37-31 with just 8:00 left.

Then Warwick scored eight of the first 12 points in the fourth, and Lalovic’s steal and fastbreak layup cut the Streaks’ lead to 41-39 with 3:38 remaining.

“We’ve been through (comebacks), so I think it’s our experience when we play maybe a team that doesn’t have as experienced guards as we do,” Christensen said. “(Our guys) were able to turn them over a little bit and it was a big atmosphere … We turned up the pressure a little bit on their guards, but we’ve seen on tape, they’ve allowed teams to come back at the end of games. You could see it coming and for our guys, the confidence just kept building and building and building.”

Later, after the Warriors pulled ahead, Lalovic sank two free throws and then Hines countered, bringing the Streaks to 49-47.

It was down to one, 50-49, with 18:4 ticks, but Township would get no closer. Warwick finished 15-of-21 from the foul line in the final quarter to seal it.

“It was great. Good for everybody involved,” Christensen said. “It was a pretty cool atmosphere. Both schools had really good support there and it was a good win for the program and the school and the kids and everybody involved.”

 

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