Fourth-quarter rally lifts Warwick past the Buckskins

By on January 11, 2017

Spirited comeback against McCaskey falls just short

Thwarted by McCaskey’s Ray Godwin (10), Warwick senior guard Will Mobley completes a mid-air dish to teammate Alex Lalovic (24), who promptly scores two of his game-high 26 points last Friday night. Also pictured for the Warriors is Carter Forney (11). Photo by Mike Shull

Thwarted by McCaskey’s Ray Godwin (10), Warwick senior guard Will Mobley completes a mid-air dish to teammate Alex Lalovic (24), who promptly scores two of his game-high 26 points last Friday night. Also pictured for the Warriors is Carter Forney (11). Photo by Mike Shull

The Warwick boys’ comeback hopes came up just a little bit short against McCaskey last Friday.

Not on Tuesday at Conestoga Valley, however.

Trailing 42-34 going into the fourth, the Warriors outscored the Bucks 19-10 down the stretch.

In the end, they snapped a five-game slide, knocking off the Buckskins 53-52 in a Section One duel in Witmer. Alex Lalovic finished with 17 points and Will Mobley added a season-high 11 for the Warriors, who improved to 3-3 L-L (6-6 overall).

Lalovic and Bryan Rottkamp scored five points apiece in the fourth quarter to help lead Warwick.

Conestoga Valley’s Logan Monroe led all scorers with 18 points — eight of those in the third quarter, when CV erased a 22-21 halftime deficit, using a 21-12 run to take an eight-point lead to the fourth.

But it wasn’t enough.

In their game last week against McCaskey, the Warriors rallied from a 16-point first-half deficit, but McCaskey’s R.J. Godwin hit the game-winning shot with :03 left and the Tornado pulled out a thrilling 62-60 victory in a Section One game in Lititz.

Alex Lalovic, who finished with a game-high 26 points, hit the third of his three treys with 11 ticks remaining to tie it 60-all and set up the wild ending.

“Oh my gosh, (Alex) is playing unreal,” Warrior coach Chris Christensen said. “He’s doing a great job. He came off a screen, it was like a pick-and-pop and he came off of it and hit it and got fouled.”

With an opportunity for a four-point play, Lalovic missed the foul shot, and then at the other end, Godwin shot running floater just inside the foul line.

“It hit the front of the rim, then hit the backboard, and then hit the rim and rolled in,” Christensen recalled. “It was a nice take to the basket by him.”

Controversy ensued next. Following the inbounds pass, McCaskey appeared to have too many players on the court. But there was no call, and the Red Tornado survived for the two-point win.

“We were screaming for a technical, but … it’s a tough call to make,” Christensen said. “It’s a tough thing to call and I get it, but rules are rules.”

Seniors Tyler Trimarchi and Ethan Price also scored in double figures for Warwick with 14 and 11 points, respectively.

William Joseph finished with 16 points to lead three players in double figures for the Red Tornado. Ricky Cruz and Isiah Speller added 15 and 10 points, respectively, for the McCaskey boys.

The Tornado hit five of their nine treys in the opening frame, and Cruz scored nine of his 15 points in that quarter, helping McCaskey dart to an early 23-7 advantage.

“They were on fire,” Christensen said. “Our guys were doing what we wanted them to do and they were on fire and we kept telling our guys, ‘Just stick with it, they can’t shoot like this the whole game,’ and that’s what happened. We just needed them to not be on fire quite as long. They eventually started cooling down and that’s when we got back in it.”

Price scored seven of his 11 points in the first quarter, and Warwick cut its deficit to 25-14 after one. But McCaskey still led 41-26 at the half, and then Joseph scored seven points in the third, helping the Tornado maintain a 54-43 at period’s end.

Trimarchi then scored seven points in the fourth, including one of his two treys, and a 10-4 Warrior run cut their deficit to 58-53 with 3:41 left.

“When we came out and got after them, we had more energy than they did and that’s when we made a run,” Christensen said.

They were within three, 60-57, with 1:25 remaining, and not long afterward, Lalovic hit his game-tying triple. Unfortunately for the Warriors, it wasn’t meant to be down the stretch.

“I thought our guys did a good job defensively,” Christensen said. “(McCaskey) was on fire. It was 41-26 at halftime and they finished with 62. So our second half defense was really good. We’ve made some adjustments as a coaching staff and I think it’s helping us. The good part is our guys are excited to play still and we’re going to make some strides.”

Last Saturday, Lalovic hit six treys and scored a game-high 26 points, but it wasn’t quite enough in a 74-57 Warrior loss to Eastern York in the War of Roses at West York High School.

The Warwick boys gave up just 24 first-half points, trailing by just four going to the break. But the Golden Knights went on a 50-37 second-half burst to earn the victory.

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