Warriors fall short to Crest, Lebanon

By on January 24, 2018
In a physical game against Cedar Crest last Friday, Warwick’s Trysten George (15) drives inside. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

In a physical game against Cedar Crest last Friday, Warwick’s Trysten George (15) drives inside. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

The Warwick boys hardly missed from the floor while taking a 22-14 first-quarter lead last Friday.

Unfortunately, they couldn’t save any of those for the final stanza.

Cedar Crest, who trailed by as many as nine points in the first half, mounted a comeback after the break, outscoring the Warriors 29-20.

In the end, Blake Thomson finished with a game-high 19 points to help lead the Falcons to a 54-50 win over Warwick in a Section One game in Lititz. Dylan Miller and Cole Laney each added 10 points for Cedar Crest.

The Warriors, led by Ryan Shirk and Clayton Mohler with 16 and 11 points, respectively, went 0-for-10 from the field down the stretch.

“It’s not like we didn’t have any open shots,” Warrior coach Chris Christensen said. “I mean, we’ve got to knock ‘em down. I thought we were getting hit a little bit, but was a physical game. So we’ve just got to be able to finish.”

Unfortunately for the Warriors, they were unable to finish at Lebanon Monday night as well, falling to the Cedars 62-52. The loss dropped the Warwick boys to 4-6 L-L (5-12 overall). They are currently 19th in the District Three 6A power ratings.

Last Friday, the Falcons’ press contributed to the WHS boys’ struggles in the second half. Overall, the Warriors had 11 of their 18 turnovers in the third and fourth.

“We’ve got to be able to do a better job when something different is thrown at us, such as pressure,” Christensen said. “We have been doing a better job. That’s a physical game and it is what it is. There’s going to be physical games, there’s going to be ticky-tack games, there’s going to be all types of games. No matter what the game is, we need to find ways to overcome those obstacles.”

There weren’t a lot of obstacles in the opening stanza, when Joey McCracken, Mohler and Shirk combined to hit six ‘threes.’ In fact, the Warriors were 8-of-15 while going up 22-14 after one.

Then with 2:38 left in the half, Conor Adams’ inside bucket made it 30-21.

But Thomson was 4-of-4 at the foul line in the final 1:41 of the half, shaving the Falcons’ deficit to 30-25 going to the locker room.

Then Logan Horn’s triple with 4:38 left in the got Cedar Crest within four, 36-32.

Bryan Rottkamp, one of a few Warrior players who missed time in the first half due to foul trouble, buried back-to-back inside buckets to put Warwick in front 40-32, and Brock Fassnacht’s baseline drive made it 44-35 with 2:23 left in the third.

Laney and Thomson, however, sparked Crest on a 7-0 spurt which narrowed its gap to 44-42.

In the fourth, Shirk’s two free throws gave his team a 48-44 edge with 3:33 to go, but with the Warriors in a zone defense, Thomson hit back-to-back treys which gave the Falcons their first lead, and then Horn scored on a layup, stretching Crest’s advantage to 52-48 with just 1:47 remaining.

“When we play a zone, we’re really good when we’re active,” Christensen said. “At times we did a really good job and then I thought we had some lapses. And those lapses is when you saw guys get wide open for ‘threes.’”

It was still up for grabs when Shirk made two foul shots with 1:02 to go, closing Warwick’s deficit to 52-50, but they didn’t score the rest of the way.

“Maybe the second quarter and fourth quarter, I thought we played on our heels,” Christensen said. “We’ve just got to be aggressive and keep going to the rim and finding other ways because we were on fire early and that’s not going to last. We’ve just got to do a better job of finding other ways to overcome obstacles when they’re thrown at us.”

*****

Last Saturday, the Warriors suffered a 58-42 non-league loss at Red Lion.

The Lions erased a 25-24 deficit at half by going on a 15-7 run in the third. Down the stretch, Red Lion outscored Warwick 19-10 to pull out the win.

Ryan Shirk led the Warriors with 10 points, including a pair of ‘threes.’

*****

In a Section One game last Wednesday, Jan. 17, Clayton Mohler scored 14 points to lead three Warrior players in double figures, helping them beat Penn Manor 58-49 in Lititz.

Ryan Shirk added 12 points and Joey McCracken finished with 10 points in the victory.

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