Hempfield, CV upend Warwick

By on December 23, 2013

By:

BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor bmorgan.eph@lnpnews.com

, Staff Writer

The Warwick girls basketball team went into the holiday break with a 50-25 loss to Hempfield in a Section One game in Landisville last Friday night.

The Lady Black Knights, led by Alecia Rohrer’s 12 points and Julia Strothers’ 10 points, took command in the early going, jumping to a 28-15 lead at the half.

They built the advantage to 41-20 after three and cruised to the win, improving their record to 4-0 in league play (4-2 overall) to keep them tied atop the Section standings with Manheim Township (4-0 L-L, 6-0 overall).

Rylee Derr scored a team-high 10 points in the losing cause for the Lady Warriors, who fell to 0-4 in league (0-7 overall).

In action last Wednesday, Dec. 18, Conestoga Valley’s Jada Dunsen and Morgan Wentz combined for 21 points in the opening half when the Lady Bucks opened up a 15-point lead, leading them to a 69-51 victory in a Section One-Two crossover in Lititz.

Wentz capitalized on her size advantage to score a game-high 21 points and grab 11 rebounds, while Dunsen chipped in with 17 points, as the CV girls improved to 3-0 in league play (5-1 overall).

"They’re great players, they’re super players," Warwick coach Amy Derr said of Wentz and Dunsen. "They have two phenomenal athletes that were tough to stop. One because of the height and the other one because she’s just phenomenal and she’s a great player. And they shot amazing. Their kids were hitting."

The Lady Warriors were doing some hitting of their own in the first quarter, taking advantage of a press defense which forced five CV turnovers in the opening stanza. When Rylee Derr turned a CV giveaway into a fastbreak layup and then Rene Ross followed with a deuce off another turnover, Warwick had an 8-7 lead. Later, with 2:38 left in the quarter, Derr scored inside to put the Warwick girls in front 13-12.

Derr finished with a team-high 14 points before leaving the game with 5:18 left in the fourth due to an injury. Kate Martin and Alexa Mohler added 10 points apiece.

"I just think we were getting looks," coach Derr said. "Everybody was just trying to get in there. I want them to be aggressive on offense and I thought they did a good job with looking and being patient. I thought the second quarter we started getting a little sloppy and not being as patient."

CV took a 17-13 lead into the second quarter, thanks to a 5-0 run at the end of the opening stanza. But with the Lady Warriors playing a zone defense, they were still within five, 24-19, with 5:06 left in the half.

Guard Mikayla Cheney found the hot hand for the Lady Bucks after that, though, knocking down back-to-back 3-pointers to ignite her team on a half-ending 13-3 run. Natalie Waltz and Wentz also connected from beyond the arc, as Conestoga Valley scored four of its seven treys in the second quarter.

"You look at the last box scores and I think Cheney only had four (in CV’s win over Penn Manor), you’re not worried about her and then she seemed to be on fire tonight," Derr said. "When you have that balance between having a couple kids with height and athleticism, and then having a lot of guards who can shoot, that’s a tough team to beat."

Leading by 15 points at the half, the Lady Bucks pulled away in the third, outscoring Warwick 18-11 to grab a commanding 55-33 advantage. Trisha Erb knocked down a couple of 3-pointers and Dunsen scored six more points, including 4-for-4 at the foul line.

"Hat’s off to good teams," Derr said. "We’re trying, we’re hanging in there. We’re just coming up short with the points compared to the other teams we’re playing right now."

Still, Derr has seen encouraging signs from her players in recent games.

"I talked to them about other coaches in the league saying how we’re so young," Derr remarked, "and, ‘It’s growing pains, coach, growing pains.’ And I said, ‘Look at getting 51 points tonight. We’re scoring some points. That’s important.’ The last game we shot 70 percent from the line. We’re having these little positives that just needs to turn into a full four quarters and a win."

More LADY WARRIORS, page B-8