Fast start fuels Warwick in 52-39 win over Penn Manor

By on February 6, 2014

Freshman Rene Ross (3) drives for the Warriors’ first points in a 52-39 victory over Penn Manor. Photo by Mike Shull

Freshman Rene Ross (3) drives for the Warriors’ first points in a 52-39 victory over Penn Manor. Photo by Mike Shull

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

That’s the philosophy the Warwick girls basketball team used on Tuesday night and it worked like a charm.

Capitalizing on a strong defensive effort, in which they forced 21 Penn Manor turnovers, Warwick led wire-to-wire and swept the season series from the Lady Comets, winning 52-39 in a Section One game in Lititz.

After taking a 17-4 lead in the first, with Penn Manor coughing the ball up 13 times against a pressure defense, the Lady Warriors stayed with what was working, coupling that with a zone defense which limited the Lady Comets to just 16-of-51 from the field.

“The plan tonight was to go out very aggressive,” Warwick coach Amy Derr remarked. “I really debated going man-to-man, but I thought, ‘Let’s go to a 1-3-1, just do a zone and try to contain.’ The kids like playing that and I feel like we still have their shooters covered. It was just an idea of, ‘Let’s go out and score right away.’ We want to get them to realize we’ve got to go out aggressive all the time, every time.”

Freshman Rylee Derr led all scorers with 21 points, helping the Warwick girls improve to 5-10 in L-L play (6-15 overall). Penn Manor fell to 2-13 L-L (2-19 overall) with the loss.

Derr scored seven of her points in a 10-0 run to end the first quarter, giving the Lady Warriors a 17-4 advantage at period’s end.

Rebounding was about the only thing that the Warwick girls didn’t do well in the opening stanza, as the Lady Comets held a 12-3 edge in that category. But the Lady Warriors forced 13 of Penn Manor’s 21 turnovers in the quarter and held the Comets to 2-of-9 shooting.

“With having Kate (Martin) and Rene (Ross), and whether it’s Kasie (Sheaffer), Taylor (Gonzales) or Dava (Frederick) in there,” Derr said, “they’re fast. So we try to utilize that and I thought they were getting some nice steals in the front court. That was helping us.”

Executing a 1-3-1 and a 2-3 zone on defense, Warwick’s lead ballooned to as much as 19-4 before the Lady Comets responded with a 7-0 surge, cutting their deficit to 19-11 with 3:16 left in the half on a deuce by Mickey Pomarici, who finished with a team-high 10 points.

Martin’s free throw put Warwick up 23-11, but an inside bucket by Ally Rowe with :25 left on the clock made it 23-13 going to the locker room.

In the third quarter, Penn Manor sliced Warwick’s lead to 27-19 on a drive by Pomarici with 4:05 remaining. Later, a 6-0 run by the Lady Comets, capped by an inside deuce by Abbie Hamby, cut the lead to 34-25 with 1:38 remaining in the period.

But Martin (5 points) sank both ends of a 1-and-1 and then Derr drained a triple from the elbow with :35 to go and it was 39-27 going to the final stanza.

“Honestly, (Rylee), Alexa (Mohler) and Kate are probably my three that, I don’t see them get rattled too much,” Derr said. “They’re there at that point of confidence in a game where they’re not afraid to drive it or shoot it if they have something good.”

Down the stretch, Casie Armstrong had something good when she scored on a layup to put the Lady Warriors in front 48-29 with 4:03 left in the fourth.

A couple of Warwick of turnovers allowed the Lady Comets to cut it to 48-36 with 2:05 to go, but Penn Manor never got within single digits again the rest of the way.

“I see each and every one of them growing as players,” Derr said. “They’re spunky, they’re really good at listening and understanding why we’re doing what we’re doing. I feel like they’re seeing those things on the floor. We’re really trying to make as many teachable moments as we can.”

In other action last Friday, the Warwick girls were within eight, 32-24, at the half, but Cedar Crest went on to earn a 60-46 win in a Section One game in Lititz.

Alyssa Austin finished with 16 points to lead the Lady Falcons, who outscored Warwick 17-11 in the third to break it open.

Derr led all scorers with 25 points and Mohler chipped in with 11 for Warwick.

Last Tuesday, Jan. 28, McCaskey overcame a gritty effort from Warwick, surviving to win 62-57 in Lancaster.

The Lady Warriors led 46-42 going to the fourth quarter, but the Red Tornado went on a 20-11 fourth-quarter run to claim the win.

McCaskey’s Ahnera Parker led all scorers with 25 points, while Derr paced Warwick with 24. Mohler added 11 for the WHS girls.

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