Falcons pull away from Warwick late in fourth

By on January 8, 2014

By:

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

, Staff Writer

With five minutes left in the Warwick boys game against Cedar Crest on Monday night, all signs pointed toward a thrilling finish.

The Warriors trailed by just one point, 41-40, to a Falcon team contending in Section One.

They were holding Crest’s 6-foot-6 twin towers Andrew Eudy and Andrew Eberhart in check, limiting them to eight and three points.

But then it all took a turn for the worse.

With Warwick attempting 11 straight three-pointers, Cedar Crest closed out the game on a 14-1 run and clinched a 55-41 win in a Section One game in Lititz.

"I think right now when we get down, we get away from the way I feel we need to do things," Warrior skipper Jeff Landis remarked. "More or less because they want to win so bad, they try to do more than they really need to. It’s a fine line. It’s not an effort thing with them – they really want to win. But we’ve just got to trust in each other and do things within the team to be successful."

Junior Josh Bucher scored a game-high 12 points to lead the Falcons, who improved to 5-1 in league play (10-2 overall), one game behind unbeaten Hempfield and McCaskey.

Senior forward Jake Shillady had 10 points to pace the Warriors, who finished with eight three-pointers in the game.

Although Warwick (3-6 overall, 2-3 L-L) got away from its game plan down the stretch, en route to losing for the third time in a row, Landis saw positive glimpses from his team which he was hoping to carry over into Wednesday’s game against Penn Manor.

"I think we played more as a team (against Cedar Crest)," Landis said. "If you’re playing one of the teams who’s picked right up there at the top of the Section with Hempfield and McCaskey and you have the lead at half and you’re within a point with five minutes to go, you’re not as far away as you might think because you’ve lost a couple in a row."

With Shillady, Grant Zimmerman and Adam Wagaman all doing a valiant job on the boards, the Warriors outscored Crest 17-13 in the second quarter and took a 24-21 lead into the locker room.

"I thought we were where we needed to be because we did a good job of executing the game plan for that particular team," Landis said. "We played some zone and some sagging man and we switched back and forth on makes and misses and they communicated and we really didn’t have any breakdowns in our defense."

After Cedar Crest regained a six-point lead going to the fourth, 40-34, Warwick opened the final stanza on a run to close the gap. Ultimately, they relied too heavily on their three-point shooting and fell short.

The Falcons finished the game shooting 15-of-26 from the foul line.

"Some of them were good ‘threes,’ some of them were not," Landis said. "It’s just, even when they’re good, if you shoot 11 in a row … we just have to play smarter. We just kinda melted on offense. Once we got down six against them late in the game, they’re a dribble-drive team and once you have to get up and guard, they’re really tough to beat."

They will look to have better success while playing Penn Manor, McCaskey and Manheim Township to close out the week.

"Nothing’s going to come easy," Landis said. "When you’ve dropped a couple in a row like us, you starting fighting yourself mentally. Like I told the guys, we’ve been here in the past and we’ve managed to always dig ourselves out and that’s the mindset we’ll keep. We stressed, ‘We are getting better, but we’ve got to get better by seeing some results in the win column.’"

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