Sluggish starts cost the Lady Warriors

By on January 8, 2014

By:

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

, Staff Writer

The Warwick girls had a repeat on Monday.

For the second time in three days, they had a sluggish start to open the game.

Then, just as the Lady Warriors did against York Suburban last Saturday, they rallied and made it a ball game against Cedar Crest.

Unfortunately, though, the end result turned out the same.

Led by Rachel Miller’s three treys and team-high 17 points, the Lady Falcons outscored Warwick 20-12 in the fourth quarter and pulled away to a 56-42 Section One win in Cornwall. Nikki Wagner chipped in with 15 points and Alex Rich added 12 for Crest, who improved to 5-1 in league play (7-3 overall).

Warwick’s Rylee Derr led all scorers with 22 points and Alexa Mohler helped out with 10.

Cedar Crest took early control with an 18-3 first-quarter run, but the Lady Warriors (0-5 L-L, 1-10 overall) climbed back into the game by outscoring the hosts 16-7 in the second, cutting their deficit to six points at the half, 25-19.

The margin remained that way heading to the final stanza, where the Lady Falcons iced their victory with a 20-12 surge.

Last Saturday, the Warwick girls rallied from a 17-point first-half deficit but fell a little short to York Suburban, suffering a 47-39 non-league loss at Warwick Middle School in Lititz.

Derr and Mohler shared game-high scoring honors with 14 points apiece to lead Warwick in the losing cause.

Senior Alexis Mailman had six of her team-high 13 points for the Lady Trojans in the opening quarter, including a fastbreak layup which put her team ahead 19-7 in the final seconds of the period.

"In the first half, we ran a full-court press and we got beat a lot," Warwick coach Amy Derr said. "There were too many times that they were fast-breaking and had a 2-on-1."

Despite a 3-pointer by Kate Martin with 4:24 left in the half which cut York Suburban’s lead to 24-12, the Lady Warriors’ offense continued to search for a rhythm, shooting just 3-of-10 from the field in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, York Suburban took its biggest lead of the game, 29-12, when Mingora sank a mid-range jumper at the 2:22 mark. Mohler answered with a putback and a 3-pointer, making it 29-18, but senior Ally Bresnahan’s late ‘J’ put the Lady Trojans in front 31-18 at the intermission.

At the start of the second half, Warwick changed things up on defense, switching to a 1-3-1 zone defense, which forced six York Suburban turnovers and sparked the Lady Warriors. Martin buried a ‘three’ with just 34 seconds elapsed in the third, kicking off a 13-3 run to swing the momentum for Warwick.

"(The 1-3-1) worked well because I think it gave (York Suburban) a different look," Derr said. "Our girls were definitely moving well with that. (At halftime), we just talked about focusing, we just talked about what the plan was for the second half. We kinda went over some of the plays because sometimes I do have four guards and a big in there. Without that second big, sometimes the whole dynamic of an offense (changes)."

Rylee Derr, who was held to just two points in the first half, found the hot hand with seven points in the third and Mohler’s trey with :21 left in the period made it 34-31 going to the final eight minutes.

"At the start of the fourth quarter, I said, ‘These five are in,’" Derr recalled. "If they’re on a roll, I want to keep it going."

Helping the Warwick girls’ charge was a strong effort on the boards, led by Mohler, who pulled down five rebounds in the second half. The Warwick junior’s putback with 6:24 remaining in the fourth got the Lady Warriors within one, 34-33.

"I thought it was a valiant effort for the second half," Derr said. "Alexa Mohler really stepped up and she’s doing a great job with secondary rebounds and kinda being in the right place at the right time. I was glad to see that she had 14 in this game."

After York Suburban spread the floor and went to a delay game, Molly Day’s layup with 1:25 left put the Lady Trojans back up 42-36. Derr buried a 3-pointer on Warwick’s next possession, making it 42-39, but they would get no closer after that.

Bethany Spencer, Katherine Weaver and Cierra Eckenrode combined to go 5-of-8 from the foul line over the final :30.5 to put the win in the books for York Suburban.

"I told them with having such a hard week coming up, we need to go out in the first half like we did the second half," Derr said. "I asked them, ‘Do you think it would have been a different ball game?’ and they all said, ‘Yeah.’ How do you get that for the first half? How do you bottle that second half and say, ‘This is what you need to do for the entire game.’ I guess as a coach, that’s what I need to figure out."

More LADY WARRIORS, page B-3

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