Improving Warwick girls tame the Lady Bears

By on January 23, 2014
Warwick freshman Rene Ross had a strong game against E-town last Friday, finishing with eight points while handing out several assists from the point guard position. Lititz Record file photo

Warwick freshman Rene Ross had a strong game against E-town last Friday, finishing with eight points while handing out several assists from the point guard position. Lititz Record file photo

The sense of timing for Warwick girls basketball coach Amy Derr was perfect.

With her team leading by nine at the end of three quarters, Elizabethtown had just whittled its deficit to one, 35-34, thanks to an 8-0 run to open the final stanza.

At that point, Derr signaled a timeout.

“I felt that the last couple of times down, when they went on that run, we weren’t driving,” she said. “I called a timeout to say, ‘Our offense and driving is working for us. We can beat them. We need to get back into that.’”

Mission accomplished.

Dava Frederick and Kate Martin scored back-to-back deuces for the Lady Warriors and they went on to defeat E-town 46-38 in a Section One-Two crossover in Lititz, clinching their first home win of the season.

Rylee Derr finished with a team-high 15 points, while Alexa Mohler added nine and Rene Ross chipped in with eight for the Lady Warriors (3-7 Section One, 4-12 overall), who improved to 3-2 in their last five games. It’s also the first time that they’ve won back-to-back games since knocking off York Suburban and Penn Manor last season.

“I’m seeing more confidence,” Derr said. “I’ve been telling the freshmen the whole time, they need to realize that this is just another high school team that they’re playing. They might be bigger than us and stronger, but again, it goes back to fundamentals. We need to do all those important little things that add up to the big things.”

E-town’s Jen Fairbanks (16.9 ppg), who paced all scorers with 16 points, was limited to just five in the opening half, and Derr’s 3-pointer at the buzzer gave the Warwick girls a 13-10 lead after one.

“It’s fun when you see kids make shots like that,” coach Derr remarked. “We’re really trying to get the kids to make sure they’re aware of the clock. As she was running past, I saw her look up to see how much time was left and she knew she had to get a shot off, so that was awesome.”

When Jenna Doll connected with 5:02 left in the second, E-town was within one, 16-15, but Frederick’s (7 points) triple sparked Warwick on a 9-0 run, capped by Mohler’s layup, which gave the Lady Warriors a 25-15 advantage with 1:53 left in the half. Derr went 4-of-4 from the line in that stretch and finished the game shooting 8-of-9.

“I had Rylee on Fairbanks and we were concerned about her,” Derr said. “Alexa knew that she had to be the help-side defense on her and just try to go straight up and not get the fouls. That was kind of our big thing – shut (Fairbanks) down.”

A deuce by the Lady Bears’ Rachel Engle cut their deficit to 25-17 at the half and they were still within four, 27-23, when Fairbanks completed a three-point play in the third. But a period-ending 8-3 Warwick surge, with Martin dropping in a layup with :39 left, made it 35-26 heading to the final quarter. Ross, whose ball handling helped Warwick keep its turnovers low, drove through the lane for a layup to start that run by the Lady Warriors.

“Rene does some really good things,” Derr said. “She can take somebody 1-on-1. She’s got speed and quickness. She’s good with her right and her left. So she’s really developing and I told her tonight, ‘I’m so proud of you. You’re just doing a lot of good things and trying to keep her head up so that she can see the floor really well. I’m very impressed with her this year.”

Fairbanks scored five points, including a trey, in E-town’s run to make it 35-34, and they were still within two when Engle scored on a putback with 2:20 left, making it 39-37.

But Mohler answered with a layup, off a nice assist by Ross, and then Warwick shot 5-of-9 at the foul to push the lead to 46-37 with :6.5 remaining, and that was the game.

“I think maybe there were jitters, maybe nerves (after falling behind 5-0 and 8-4 early),” Derr said. “Against man-to-man, we have quite a few different things that we run, and it’s just a matter of, ‘Let’s see what’s going to work.’ We ran one of our plays a lot tonight that I just felt like, I’m not going to change something that’s working pretty well.”

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