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- Toast of the tailgaters
Warwick boys shock the Knights in double OT Shields hits for a career-high 29 points
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org, Staff Writer
Not since the 2005-06 campaign had the Warwick boys found a way to beat Hempfield.
Until Tuesday, that is.
In dramatic fashion, Warwick outscored the Black Knights 9-2 in the second OT period and pulled off a come-from-behind 57-50 win over the Black Knights in a Section One battle in Lititz.
"It’s the first time in a long time, I know that," Warwick coach Jeff Landis remarked. "They just didn’t quit, and I don’t think at any point they thought the game had gotten away from them."
That included the final 16 seconds of regulation, when the Warriors trailed by five points, 41-36. K’shawn Mickens nailed a triple to make it a two-point game with :09 left. Then after Hempfield missed the front end of a 1-and-1, Tyler Morris got the rebound and dished the ball to Derrick Shields, who went the length of the floor and scored on a layup with just :01 remaining for the tying layup. For the game, Shields finished with a career-high 29 points.
"We had one timeout left," Landis said, "(but) we had told them, ‘If they get the rebound, don’t call a timeout. Get it to Derrick or Matt (Engle) and let them drive to the basket.’ (Derrick) got the whole way to the hoop. He never pulled up or settled."
The Black Knights called a timeout with :0.2 to go, but it wasn’t enough time to get away a shot and the game proceeded to OT. There, the Hempfield boys jumped out to another four-point lead. Again, however, the Warriors refused to quit.
"We grew up a lot tonight," Landis said.
Tyler Stief grabbed a critical rebound, took the ball down the floor, and banked home a 3-pointer to get the Warriors within one, 47-46.
"He shot one of those, ‘No, uh yes’ … It wasn’t supposed to be that way," Landis laughed, "but I’m sure he’s not apologizing. We’ll take the hoop."
After the Black Knights answered by hitting one of two free throws, Colby Weit got the ball on the high post and connected with Morris for the game-tying layup to make it 48-all with :08 remaining in the period. Morris finished the game with 10 points.
Hempfield got one more possession, but the Warriors contested a jumper by the Black Knights and their shot was off the mark, sending it to a second OT period. There, Shields scored on a pair of layups, Morris added a layup and the Warriors went 3-of-4 at the foul line to salt it away.
"We talked a lot before the game that it’s a privilege to play high school sports," Landis said, "and with that privilege, there doesn’t come entitlement — there comes responsibility. And that goes to representing your school the right way when it comes to the classroom or on the floor and playing to the final whistle. And it worked out that if they hadn’t played to the final whistle tonight, they were going home with a hard-fought ‘L.’"
Hempfield only led 21-19 at the half, and Shields scored 13 of the Warriors’ points. His 29 total points exceeded his previous high of 19, which he scored in the Warriors’ win over Cocalico two weeks ago. The Black Knights’ Chris Cosimano, Dylan Bleacher and Drew Johnson, who took turns guarding Shields, all fouled out of the game.
"Derrick Shields was awesome tonight," Landis said. "He was relentless in going to the basket because we did not shoot it well from the three-point line. He just kept getting to the hoop."
Warwick still trailed 34-29 after three and it was down by as many as eight points in the fourth before mounting a comeback. Overall, the Warwick boys were 15-of-20 from the foul line, while Hempfield went 8-for-19.
"Quite honestly, with banking a couple of ‘threes’ and stuff, we got a little lucky, but they never quit," Landis said. "And the difference was the foul line tonight, and that’s a good thing. That has haunted us in the past … I think it’s a huge win. However, it’s just another game. The mental aspect tonight was, ‘Did we believe we could beat Hempfield?’ We talked about that at length. Sometimes in the past six, seven years (against Hempfield), I thought we took the floor defeated. This group kinda laughs at that. It doesn’t matter who they play, it doesn’t matter what the result is, if they don’t get it done, they don’t make excuses."
Last Wednesday, Dec. 28, Wilson set the tone in its game against the Warwick boys by scoring 36 points in the opening two quarters.
While shooting a sizzling 57 percent from the floor, the Bulldogs led by as many as 12 points in the first half and then withstood a third-quarter rally by the Warriors to hold on for a 65-50 victory in the consolation game of the Warwick Holiday Tournament. Trinity defeated Lancaster Catholic 61-32 in the finals of the tourney, which was sponsored by the Josh Montpetit Foundation.
"We were lacking energy in the first half," Landis said. "I don’t make excuses. I have theories as to why. We gave up 36 points in the first half and that’s where the game was decided. We battled back in the second half, but it was decided by our defensive effort in the first 16 minutes."
Ryan Glass and Travaun Coad finished with 16 points apiece to lead four Wilson players in double figures. Seth Klein and Matt Timochenko combined for six ‘threes’ and each chipped in with 12 points, leading a Bulldogs’ assault in which they finished 7-for-10 beyond the arc.
"Our goal is to hold people to 40, so if four guys are in double figures, we’re in trouble," Landis said.
Glass scored nine of his 16 points in the first quarter, including a triple, but neither team led by more than three points in the stanza. After Warwick’s Colby Weit tied it 14-14 with a 3-pointer, Matt Rothrock’s putback put the Dawgs up 16-14 at period’s end.
"(Glass), I don’t think he took a shot last night (in Wilson’s opening-round loss to Trinity) and he comes out and hits a ‘three’ to start the game," Landis said. "He played very well."
It was still tied 19-19 following a deuce by Warwick’s Tyler Stief with 5:58 left in the half. But then Wilson responded with a 17-5 run, led by Timochenko, who scored seven of his 10 second-quarter points in that stretch. Finally, when Coad dropped in consecutive back-door layups, the Bulldogs stretched their lead to 36-24 with 1:14 remaining in the period. Overall, Wilson shot 7-for-13 in the second quarter and 14-for-24 in the half.
"Our character is defense and we pride ourselves on it," Landis said. "Take nothing away from Wilson – they shot the ball really well. They’re not a great scoring team on a normal night, but 36 points is too many against anyone. They’re a physical team, they’re athletic – we knew that. But we can’t accept this result. I don’t care if Catholic is supposed to be a good team, if Wilson is supposed to be a good team. We can’t accept it."
Despite Warwick’s defensive struggles, they remained within striking distance by scoring the final five points of the half, capped by Matt Engle’s five-point play to cut Wilson’s lead to 36-27. Engle finished with nine points and Derrick Shields had a team-high 14 points to lead Warwick (3-5 overall). Weit and Tyler Morris also reached double figures with 11 points apiece.
In the third, Shields and Wilson’s Klein traded ‘threes,’ but then Warwick put together a 7-1 run to take its first lead since the opening stanza. Morris buried a triple and scored on a putback to tie it 44-44 with 2:15 left in the period. The Warriors’ junior grabbed six rebounds to help his squad build a 26-21 edge on the boards. Finally, when Weit converted the second of two free throws, the Warwick boys led 45-44 with :27.3 remaining in the quarter.
"This team wants to win every time they take the floor," Landis said. "I was worried about our legs. We don’t play a lot of people and I think we looked a little fatigued. That sense of urgency was there in the third quarter when we came back and cut it to one and tied it. Every time we had that shot to take the lead, we missed and (Wilson) came down and hit a transition ‘three’ or made a layup."
It was Coad who sank a layup with just :1.5 left in the third quarter which gave Wilson a lead it never relinquished, 46-45, and then Klein buried back-to-back triples to start the fourth and Coad scored on a putback to make it 54-47 with 4:58 remaining.
"I thought that was a huge part of the game," Landis acknowledged of Klein’s 3-pointers. ""K’shawn (Mickens) had done a good job against him all night and he just has a quick release. (K’shawn) was there the one time and (Wilson) ran a nice set and he got a shot off – it’s quick."
Mickens answered with a layup to get the Warriors within five, 54-49, but they would get no closer. Glass went 6-for-6 at the foul line in the final 2:04 – and the Bulldogs were 9-of-10 as a team – to seal it.
For the game, Wilson finished 16-for-19 at the stripe, while the Warriors were 11-for-19.
"(Glass) made his foul shots down the stretch," Landis said. "You don’t want to play Wilson from behind. They were 16-for-19 from the line. Right now, to make 16, we have to shoot 32 (foul shots) percentage-wise. That didn’t lose us the game tonight. But we definitely have to get better at it." More WARRIORS, page B-6
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