Warriors top the Mules, 66-49

By on January 15, 2014


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

, Staff Writer

Photo by Preston WhitcraftManheim Central sophomore Aaron Lefever (top) finishes off Donegal's Mason McCoy with a fall in 3:05 in the 285-pound semi-finals last Saturday at Conestoga Valley.Photo by Preston WhitcraftManheim Central sophomore Aaron Lefever (top) finishes off Donegal's Mason McCoy with a fall in 3:05 in the 285-pound semi-finals last Saturday at Conestoga Valley.

Jake Shillady finished with 16 points to lead three players in double figures and the Warwick boys pulled away from Solanco 66-49 in a Section One-Two crossover game in Lititz on Tuesday night.

Grant Zimmerman and James Willis added 12 points apiece for the Warriors, who outscored the Golden Mules 36-23 in the second half to break open a four-point lead at the intermission.

The victory improved the Warwick boys to 4-5 in Section One (5-8 overall).

Damon Kreider and Desmond Kreider each finished with 11 points to lead the Golden Mules in a losing cause.

In other action, the Warriors’ 61 points against Manheim Township last Friday might have been enough to win on most nights. But the Blue Streaks’ Seth Brewer had other ideas in this Section One showdown, as the senior guard finished with a game-high 24 points to lead his team to a 69-61 victory in Neffsville.

Showing quickness and deft ability to get to the basket, Brewer scored 13 points in the fourth quarter – including 7-of-8 from the foul line – when the Blue Streaks outscored Warwick 18-10 to put it away.

"(Brewer) knows how to play, he’s good," Warwick coach Jeff Landis said. "I thought Jordan (Cipalla) did a great job on him, but he’s relentless … he knows how to move, he knows how to play, he’ll get people involved. All in all, you know you can’t put him on the line because he’s death from the foul line."

The loss capped a 1-3 week for the Warriors, in which they played four games in five nights, although they were within striking distance in all three of their losses.

Afterward, asked about the demeanor of the team, Landis said, "I think it’s frustration. They obviously haven’t quit. They got down 13, 15 and they battled, so they’re not going to quit on me. The effort’s good, but at some point, I can’t be OK with, ‘Well, the effort’s there.’ We came here to win a basketball game."

Warwick was certainly headed in the right direction in the opening quarter, and when Jake Shillady knocked down the third of his three first-quarter treys, the Warriors went up 12-2 with 2:53 left on the clock.

But Justin Sims and Brewer connected from the outside late in the quarter, slicing the Streaks’ deficit to 16-11 at period’s end.

The Warriors were still in solid shape when James Willis converted a three-point play with 6:18 left in the half, making it 19-12. Willis and Damian Soto finished with 14 points apiece to pace four Warwick players in double figures. Shillady and Grant Zimmerman added 13 and 12, respectively.

Christian Mitchell, who had 11 points, answered on a drive for Township, and with the Streaks turning up the heat on defense, they went on a 17-3 surge. Warwick turned the ball over six times in the quarter and when Brewer buried both ends of a 1-and-1 with 3:11 to go in the half, the MT boys went up 29-22.

Cipalla scored inside to cut the Warriors’ deficit to 33-27, but Sims’ triple put Manheim Township ahead 36-27 at the break.

"It’s the same old story in terms of, when someone first steps up the pressure, we get rid of the ball a little too easy," Landis said. "We’ve got good guards, the point is to control the game and keep it in their hands, and we struggle to get open and then it’s a little tougher for them. But then we settled in and it was a matter of not getting stops. Offensively, if we score that many points, we should be successful. If we can score 61, that should win us games if we pride ourselves on our defense."

A deuce by Michael Sharpe with 3:23 left in the third gave Township its biggest lead, 48-32, before Soto nailed back-to-back treys to lead Warwick on a period-ending 13-3 run, cutting the Streaks lead to 51-45 going to the final stanza. There, Soto’s three-point play, followed by a drive to the basket by Colin Gibble, made it 51-50 with 6:11 remaining. Then the Warriors had the ball on a 3-on-1 break with a chance to go in front, but it turned out to be a wasted opportunity.

"We went at the one guy that was back, we tried to shoot over him as opposed to making the easy pass," Landis said. "That’s what we’re talking about … We’re getting better, we scored the ball inside more tonight, we got a couple more assists. Wednesday night (in a win over Penn Manor), 85 percent of our baskets were off assists. In that situation, you just make the easy play and you have the lead."

They were still within three, 55-52, when Soto scored with 4:26 to go, but Brewer converted back-to-back three-point plays, and then when Mitchell dropped in a layup with just :39 left, the Blue Streaks claimed an insurmountable 66-55 lead and never looked back.

"We’ve got Solanco Tuesday," Landis said. "We better be ready to defend the ‘three,’ we better be ready to face multiple defenses, and when they go zone, are we going to take the first open shot or are we going to work the ball around and get good shots? Zone invites you to take some quick shots, so we’ll see how mentally tough we are on offense Tuesday night."

The Warriors were also on the floor last Thursday, suffering a 61-53 loss to McCaskey in a Section One game in Lancaster.

After falling behind 31-20 at the half, the Warwick boys made a third-quarter run, getting within six, 40-34, at period’s end. Overall, McCaskey turned the ball over 23 times against Warwick’s defense.

But the Red Tornado, led by Kobe Gantz and La’Detrius Sibley with 18 points apiece, sealed it down the stretch, outscoring the Warriors 21-19 in the final eight minutes.

Gibble finished with a team-high 15 points, all three-pointers, for the Warriors, while Soto chipped in with 12.

Last Wednesday in Lititz, the Warwick boys took an eight-point lead at the half and held on to defeat Penn Manor 45-37. No one scored in double figures for the Warriors, who were led by Nate Miller’s nine points.

More WARRIORS, page B-3

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