First-place Warriors stretch win streak to five

By on December 26, 2018
Warwick sophomore Caleb Schmitz (34) and Colby Martin (3) deny Cedar Crest’s Logan Horn on a drive to the basket in last Friday night’s game. Also pictured for the Warriors is Ryan Shirk (24). Photo by Wendy Dagen

Warwick sophomore Caleb Schmitz (34) and Colby Martin (3) deny Cedar Crest’s Logan Horn on a drive to the basket in last Friday night’s game. Also pictured for the Warriors is Ryan Shirk (24). Photo by Wendy Dagen

Caleb Schmitz made a ton of big plays or the Warwick football team this fall, sharing the team lead with six interceptions from his safety position.

Last Friday night, the Warrior sophomore was doing his thing again.

This time on the basketball court.

In a battle of first-place teams, the Warwick boys went head-to-head against a Cedar Crest team featuring of pair of 6-foot-7 big men in Ileri Ayo-Faleye and Jason Eberhart.

But that didn’t stop the 6-foot-4 Schmitz from notching a double-double, snagging 12 rebounds and scoring 12 points to help Warwick beat the Falcons 52-42 in a key Section One/Two crossover game in Lititz.

“(Caleb) was unreal,” Warrior coach Chris Christensen said. “It was good to kinda see him have what I consider his first breakout game of the season. We all expect him to keep getting better and better as the year goes on.”

With the victory, Warwick (4-0 L-L, 5-2 overall) not only stretched its winning streak to five in a row, but it also opened up a two-game lead atop Section Two over Elizabethtown, which suffered a 70-67 loss to McCaskey.

“We’re definitely confident,” Christensen said. “The guys obviously have been playing well, especially this past week, with it being a three-game week. It’s one of the toughest of the season, and I was telling them (Friday) night, ‘For the first time in awhile, we have a target on us now and we’re not going to sneak up on anybody. We’re going to start getting people’s best shots and we’ve got to be ready to play each and every night.”

Schmitz wasn’t the only story for Warwick against Cedar Crest (3-1 Section One, 6-1 overall).

Senior Ryan Shirk led all scorers with 22 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter when the Warriors outscored the Falcons 19-10 to nail it down.

Senior Colby Martin shadowed Crest star Logan Horn and held him to just 10 points, which is well below his average of 22 ppg.

And sophomore point guard Joey McCracken was poised beyond his years while handling Cedar Crest’s pressure and distributing the ball to his teammates.

“It was a good team effort by everybody,” Christensen said.

Four different players scored for Warwick in the first stanza, including Shirk who nailed the first of his four treys, and the Warriors took a 9-6 lead after one.

Eberhart, meanwhile, was held scoreless by Warrior senior Trysten George in the opening eight minutes, and Horn managed just two in the early going. For the game, Eberhart finished with 10 points.

“We wanted to limit them as much as we could on second-chance opportunities because they have a lot of guys who take shots and there’s a lot of long rebounds, and we wanted to make sure we were able to control the glass,” Christensen said. “I think we did a pretty good job. We had a couple lapses, but we did a pretty good job for most of the night. We really wanted to try to control Horn. Colby was on him for a lot of the game, so he did a good job there on a pretty good player.”

It remained tight through the second quarter and McCracken dropped in four points, as the Warriors took a 16-15 lead into the break.

“It was a really good game the whole way,” Christensen said. “They’ve got some really athletic players, they’ve got two pretty big guys who change the game, along with Horn.”

Brody Dunlop and Horn each 2-of-2 at the foul line and netted four points apiece to lead the Falcons in the third quarter. But Martin knocked down a pair of 3-pointers in the period, Schmitz muscled his way for six points on the post, and the Warriors maintained a 33-32 advantage going to the fourth.

“Caleb played a really good game,” Christensen said. “He was physical. We were able to give him the ball on the post and he was making moves, finishing, and he did a great job defensively and came up with a ton of big rebounds.”

With the outcome still in doubt in the final quarter, Shirk broke loose, burying his fourth triple of the night and going a perfect 6-of-6 at the foul line while scoring 13 points. For the game, the Warriors shot 77 percent from the stripe, finishing 10-of-13 overall.

“Ryan played aggressive,” Christensen said. “Guys found him and he’s got that instinct and he’s had it for awhile. He made some big shots his junior year too. And he’s just been doing a good job of finishing games. And to be honest, as much as it’s him, it’s everybody else too. We’re doing it as a team and guys are finding him and he’s finding people too. It was a good team fourth quarter.”

***

In other action, Ryan Shirk knocked down five treys and finished with 29 points, leading Warwick to a come-from-behind 62-57 victory over McCaskey in a Section One-Two crossover in Lancaster last Wednesday, Dec. 19.

Trailing by 13 points at the half, the Warriors made it close by outscoring the Red Tornado 21-10 in the third quarter. Conor Adams helped out with 11 points and Joey McCracken added nine.

Then down the stretch, Warwick completed the comeback with a 17-10 run. Although the Warriors finished just 12-of-22 from the line, their defense held McCaskey to just 20 points in the second half.

Jashann Greaves and Makai Ortiz-Gray led the Tornado with 13 and 12 points, respectively.

 

 

 

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