Warriors upended by Falcons, Black Knights

By on January 7, 2015
Warwick senior Jordan Cipalla drives to the basket against Hempfield last Friday night.

Warwick senior Jordan Cipalla drives to the basket against Hempfield last Friday night.

One of last year’s highlights for the Warwick boys basketball team was its 49-48 win over Cedar Crest on the Falcons’ home floor.

The defending L-L champion Cedar Crest boys no doubt remembered that when the two teams met on Tuesday for the first time since that game.

This time, Andrew Eberhart dropped in 16 points, Evan Horn added 12 and the Falcons (7-0 L-L, 12-0 overall) remained unbeaten with a 55-33 win over the Warriors in a Section One game in Cornwall.

James Willis nailed four of Warwick’s five treys and finished with 16 points to share game-high honors. Grant Zimmerman added seven, but it was an uphill climb most of the way for the Warriors, who trailed 26-11 at the half.

The loss dropped the WHS boys to 4-3 in Section One (7-6 overall).

Last Friday, Hempfield nailed three of its five treys in the fourth quarter while outscoring Warwick 23-18, helping them hold on for a 63-56 win in a Section One game in Lititz.

The Warriors twice got as close as three points in the final stanza &tstr; on a layup by Kyle Weaver to make it 45-42 with 5:18 left and again on a triple by Damian Soto to cut the Knights’ edge to 48-45 with 3:58 remaining.

Hempfield’s Dylan Bleacher and Connor Moffatt, though, answered with treys to take some wind out of the Warriors’ sails.

“They made some big shots,” Warwick coach Jeff Landis said. “They’re a good team. I thought the difference was their ‘threes’ came off dribble penetration where people set them up … We didn’t quit, but every time (we got close) in the fourth quarter, they found the open guy and he made a big shot.”

Bleacher paced the Black Knights with a game-high 22 points, including three triples, and Moffatt finished with 19 points.

“It’s a great road win,” Hempfield coach Danny Walck said. “We’ve played some really good teams teams and this is another really good team on the road. It’s exciting to build on that schedule, but you’ve got to make sure you keep your team connected. Fortunately, we were able to do that.”

Grant Zimmerman’s 13 points led three Warwick players in double figures. James Willis and Jordan Cipalla added 12 and 10, respectively.

Zimmerman scored six of his points in the opening quarter when the Warriors took a 15-11 lead. They still led 22-19 when Willis knocked down a trey with 3:26 left in the half, but the Knights responded on a 7-0 run &tstr; capped by Bleacher’s traditional three-point play &tstr; and maintained a 26-24 edge going to the locker room.

“They switched up their defenses,” Landis said of Hempfield, “we went over that today in shootaround and I thought we got good shots against their defense. We just missed a couple of layups. It did speed the tempo of the game up and we started to shoot a little quicker than we needed to.”

In the third, Weaver’s triple and Willis’ drive pulled the Warriors within 35-32 with 2:44 left in the period. But Bleacher made the Warriors pay for back-to-back turnovers, nailing a trey and then finishing on a layup to boost Hempfield to a 40-32 advantage with 1:45 to go in the stanza.

“(Bleacher) really goes strong to his left and gets to the basket that way and if you help too far, he does find people,” Landis said. “They made shots and and he helps create shots for other people … Just for a quick two minute spurt there (in the third), we got out of sorts and they went on that little run and I thought that was probably the difference in the game. We called a timeout and got our wits about us and came back and battled.”

Indeed they did, answering with a quarter-ending 7-0 run of their own, as Weaver hit two free throws, Adam Wagaman scored on a putback and Willis buried a ‘three’ to make it 40-39 going to the fourth quarter.

But Bleacher scored 12 of his 22 points down the stretch, including his ‘three’ with 4:12 left to extend the Knights’ lead to 48-42.

Warwick was still close when Zimmerman scored on a putback with :55 to go, cutting its deficit to 55-50. But the Black Knights shot 8-of-9 from the foul line in the final :53.4 to seal the victory.

“They shoot it well from there,” Landis said. “That’s why you obviously want to be in the lead late against them. It’s not anything new. They’ve shot it pretty consistently from there all year.”

The Warriors were also in action last Tuesday, Dec. 30 in their Warrior Holiday Classic and they halted a three-game skid with a 60-47 non-league win over Twin Valley.

Nate Miller and Willis scored 13 points apiece and Soto chipped in with 12 to lead the Warriors.


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