Weidemoyer’s free throw sinks PM
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org, Staff Writer
Greta Weidemoyer just needed a routine.
That, in a nutshell, is what her discussion with Warwick coach Amy Derr centered on following the Lady Warriors’ 46-42 defeat to Cedar Crest last Friday.
Weidemoyer — and the Warwick girls as a team — had struggled at the foul line and Derr was trying to offer her that tip.
"We just talked about her having that routine, keeping that routine, focusing and just getting up there and doing it," Derr said.
On Monday night, Warwick’s junior forward got the chance to test that training in a game situation and her foul shot with :0.0 left on the clock lifted the Lady Warriors to a 34-33 conquest of Penn Manor in a key Section One game in Lititz.
"I do better when I don’t think about it and I just take it and shoot it," Weidemoyer remarked. "So on Saturday at practice, we worked on me getting a routine down to do the same thing every time and I think that definitely helped me calm down, especially with the last one here."
With the victory, Warwick (9-6 L-L, 11-10 overall) pulled into a tie with Hempfield (9-6, 11-10), a 48-28 loser to Section champ Manheim Township, for the second and final L-L League playoff berth in Section One. While the Lady Warriors finish up with the Blue Streaks (15-0, 18-2), Hempfield takes on McCaskey (4-11, 6-15). The Knights also hold the tiebreaker if they end up tied with Warwick in second place.
But the Lady Warriors could have positioned themselves to qualify for the District Three Quad-A playoffs with Monday’s win, their 11th of the season. Through Saturday’s action, they were 16th in the District’s power ratings.
"I think we have a chance … We’re thinking we still might have at least two more games," Derr said. "We’re still chugging along and just trying to keep trying."
The Lady Warriors kept trying on Monday, even after the Comets matched their biggest lead of the night when Kelly Shertzer knocked down a ‘three’ to make it 30-25 and then Dana Mowbray scored on a putback with 3:14 left, capping a 9-2 run and pushing the score to 32-27.
That wasn’t good news for a Lady Warriors’ team who was just 1-for-6 in the fourth quarter up until that point, and who would end up shooting 10-for-41 (24 percent) in the game, with a number of missed easy layups.
"(Assistant) Allie (Butler) said we probably had maybe 20, 22 points that we should have had on those easy layups," Derr said. "I mean, that to me is so not like us. We practice layups every single day, they weren’t hitting their angles right and it’s like, ‘How many more are we going to miss?’"
Madi Derr, however, didn’t miss on a ‘three,’ her second of the quarter, which cut the deficit to 32-30 with 2:53 left. Derr led Warwick with 11 points and Beth Zimmerman added 10.
Then Meredith Michel converted one of two free throws to make it a one-point game. Then following a free throw by PM’s Addy Zuzu, pushing the lead to 33-31 with 1:33 to go, Zimmerman scored on a putback to pull the Warwick girls even, 33-33, with 1:01 left.
A turnover by the Comets on an offensive charge by leading scorer Alicia Ygarza got the ball back for the Lady Warriors with :42.5 remaining, and then Derr called a timeout moments later. Warwick played for the final possession, and with time ticking away, guard Macaulay Soto rushed an off-balance shot and Weidemoyer was there for the tip. It didn’t drop, but Mowbray was called for the foul with no time left on the clock.
"The play technically did not run the way we wanted it to, but we did have a plan B to get everybody low and Macaulay to drive," Derr said. "As you saw, she took a very ugly shot and we were just fortunate — I told the bigs to make sure they were there to be in good rebounding position, which Greta was, and fortunately for us, she tried tipping it and got fouled."
From there, the rest is history.
"(Greta)’s got a beautiful foul shot, so when they go in, it’s a wonderful thing especially when it’s a ‘W,’" Derr said.
Earlier, Soto’s triple at the first-quarter buzzer brought Warwick within one, 11-10. But Soto’s contribution might have been the defensive job she did on Ygarza, the Comets’ leading scorer (10.4 ppg), who was held to four points in Warwick’s box-and-1 defense.
"Ygarza was the one that I wanted to shut down and I felt like Macaulay did an outstanding job on her tonight," Derr said. "The last time we played them, she was hot and I knew that she’s a force for that team. So we wanted to go after her."
Shertzer paced the Comets with 10 points, but she was held off the scoreboard in the second quarter, and Warwick forced 13 of PM’s 25 turnovers in the opening two stanzas.
"I think defensively, we can switch it up (between) man, zone," Derr said. "We’ve done a 1-3-1, we’ve done the 2-3. I like that that we have the versatility to be like that. We were fortunate that … they really didn’t do much tonight as far as field goals."
Warwick, meanwhile, outscored the Comets 7-3 in the second quarter, led by Zimmerman’s four points, and took a 17-14 lead at the half.
Shertzer’s deuce capped a 7-1 Penn Manor surge in the third which helped them take a 23-22 advantage into the final stanza. There, however, Weidemoyer and Co. got the job done for Warwick down the stretch.
With that, they turned their attention to Wednesday’s regular-season finale against first-place Manheim Township.
"It’s not going to be easy, especially there," Derr said. "We were within four of them and I have a lot of faith in this team that we can be that sleeper team if we’re on. Truly, I feel like some of the wins that we’ve had we’ve been fortunate because all five players haven’t been in sync a lot of times when they’re on the floor. If I could have that in a consistent amount of a game, then I feel like we have a chance." More LADY WARRIORS, page B-3