Blue Streaks outlast Warwick 89-85 in 4 OTs

By on January 17, 2018

Warwick’s Clayton Mohler (14) looks to outduel Manheim Township’s Reese Sachs (20) for the opening tip last Friday night. Photo by Mike Shull

When the Warwick boys took Hempfield to five OTs last year, no one would have predicted it happening again any time soon.

Well, last Friday night, the Warriors came close.

Clayton Mohler’s dramatic game-tying ‘three’ at the end of regulation knotted the score at 55-all and set the wheels in motion for a crazy finish to their game against Section One rival Manheim Township.

In the end, the Blue Streaks outlasted Warwick 89-85 in a four OT thriller in Neffsville.

“I’m proud of them,” Warrior coach Chris Christensen said. “It didn’t go our way, but there’s no reason to walk out of here holding your heads down. We made some crazy shots to keep the game going, they made some crazy shots to keep the game going. We had opportunities to finish it, they had opportunities to finish it, and it just came down to the end. I think we got a little tired and … it is what it is.”

A combined 10 players scored in double figures for the two teams. Will Greiner, Brendan Mellott, and Hilton Ridley led the Blue Streaks with 18 points apiece, while Tyler Vicidomini and Cameron Mulcavage each added 10.

Bryan Rottkamp poured in a game-high 22 points to pace the Warriors. Clayton Mohler had 18, Colby Martin chipped in with 13, while Ryan Shirk and Brock Fassnacht added 12 and 10, respectively.

“(Last year’s Hempfield game) is what’s going through your head once you get to four (overtimes),” Christensen admitted.

Mohler had the hot hand in the first quarter, nailing two of his four treys as the Warriors jumped to a 14-10 lead after one, and then Township took advantage of its size advantage in the second, getting five points inside from Mulcavage while outscoring the Warriors 14-8 and taking a 24-22 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Despite MT’s 54-39 edge on the boards, neither team led by more than four points in the game.

It remained tight through the third and Mulcavage’s putback gave the Streaks a 39-37 lead before Warwick’s Conor Adams made one of two free throws to cut Township’s lead to one, 39-38, heading to the fourth quarter.

The Warriors’ helped their cause by holding MT leading scorer Tyler Crespo (15.1 ppg) to six points in the game on 1-of-8 shooting from the floor.

“I think our game plan was good,” Christensen said. “I don’t know what Crespo finished with, but I think we kinda took him out of it pretty much.”

Meanwhile, Rottkamp looked to put the team on his shoulders in the fourth, converting a three-point play, then driving for a layup and burying one of two foul shots on a 6-1 run which put the Warriors in front 44-40 with 6:08 left in the fourth.

“He’s our guy and he’s been through this,” Christensen said. “This is his third year and I thought he did a phenomenal job. He’s a bleeder. If there’s college coaches not recruiting him, they’re crazy.”

Later, Mellott scored on a layup with 1:31 left to make it 53-50, Township, but Shirk’s steal and layup got the Warriors within one, 53-52, and then following a steal by Township, Ridley sank two foul shots with :25.6 to give the hosts a 55-52 edge.

But Mohler’s trey from the right elbow with :1.0 left in regulation sent the game to OT tied 55-all.

With freshman point guard Joey McCracken already out of the lineup due to illness, the Warriors lost Trysten George, Shirk and Martin, who all fouled out, while Township saw Mellott and Crespo take a seat with five fouls.

Still, it remained tied 61-all after the first OT and then the Streaks went up 70-66 with :17.7 left in the second OT when Tommy Mann made one of two free throws. But Fassnacht buried a big trey for Warwick and then Rottkamp hit one of two at the foul line with :9.6 to go. When the Streaks’ final possession came up empty, Township and Warwick went to a third OT tied at 70-70.

Senior Dylan Zoccolo, freshman Caleb Schmitz and others came off the bench for the Warriors to give them a much-needed boost.

“Everybody that got in was geared up and ready to go,” Christensen said.

In the third OT, Fassnacht was 5-of-6 at the foul line, and his two free throws with :10.2 remaining seemed put the Warriors in command, 78-75.

“(Brock) was unreal,” Christensen said. “He did a great job. I mean, he was aggressive, he was good in the paint. He was finishing. He kinda had to take over and run the show. I’m not even sure in practice we had him running the show ever like that.”

Greiner, though, broke the hearts of Warwick and its fans, getting the bounce on his three-pointer from the right corner with :1.0 left, tying it 78-all.

“Clayton made a big ‘three’ to keep us going, and that kid (Greiner) made a big three to keep them going,” Christensen said. “That’s what it’s about. That’s why you play high school basketball.”

Finally, in the fourth OT, Mohler’s fourth triple of the game put Warwick up 81-78, but later, with the scored tied 83-all, Greiner’s put Township up for good, 86-83. Rottkamp’s layup with :41 left got the Warriors within two, 87-85, but Mann and Ridley went 2-of-4 at the foul line in the final 34 seconds to clinch the win for the Streaks.

“You take it as an experience and you take the points where you could have finished it,” Christensen said. “Like we were just saying, it’s not about one overtime or two overtimes. It’s what did we do in the first half? What could we have done in the second half to change it? But you take the experience out of it, and I said to the guys who were the younger guys, just take it for what it is and the next time you’re in this situation, go finish it.”

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