Warwick girls notch one-point win over Tornado

By on January 31, 2018
Warwick’s Lailani Batty (right) battles Hempfield’s Christine Graves for the ball last Friday. Also pictured for the Lady Warriors is junior Sydney Weismandel. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Warwick’s Lailani Batty (right) battles Hempfield’s Christine Graves for the ball last Friday. Also pictured for the Lady Warriors is junior Sydney Weismandel. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

The Warwick girls earned their second league win of the season Tuesday night, coming home with a 33-32 win over McCaskey in a Section One battle in Lancaster.

Capitalizing on a 14-4 run in the second quarter, the Lady Warriors (2-10 L-L, 3-16 overall) took a 19-10 lead into the half and then held on.

Lauren Pyle finished with a team-high 10 points, including a pair of treys, to lead Warwick. Sydney Weismandel chipped in with seven points.

With McCaskey trailing by seven going into the fourth quarter, the Tornado (2-10, 5-14) outscored Warwick 9-3 down the stretch, but it wasn’t enough. McCaskey’s Ahni-yah Parker led all scorers with 14 points.

Last Friday, the Warwick girls seemed to get their rough stretch out of the way early.

A 10-point first-quarter deficit was in the rearview mirror at halftime with the Lady Warriors taking a 17-10 lead into the half over Hempfield.

But they struggled at the offensive end in the second half, and the Hempfield girls rallied for a 21-20 victory in a Section One game in Lititz.

Warwick shot just 1-for-14 in the third and then failed to score in the final stanza. In all, the Lady Knights (1-10 L-L, 3-15 overall) outscored them 11-3 in the second half.

“We just couldn’t do anything offensively,” WHS coach Janelle Garber said. “We took some bad shots, and defensively, not that (Hempfield) scored a lot, but we gave up some easy layups.”

Still, the Warwick girls had an opportunity in the final seconds. Following a Hempfield turnover with 39.7 seconds left, Warwick set up a play, but couldn’t connect and Lizzie Yurchak grabbed the rebound for the Lady Knights.

“We were looking for a screen-and-roll,” Garber recalled. “We had some trouble all night rolling to the basket, but we were just looking for a drive off of it or something like that.”

Yurchak missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 6.6 seconds left and Warwick got the ball. But Sydney Weismandel’s desperation shot at the buzzer didn’t go and that was the game.

The Lady Warriors were looking for a season sweep from Hempfield, having earned a 37-32 win in Landisville back on Dec. 22.

“They have definitely improved,” Garber said, “so I knew it was going to be a close game coming down the stretch and that we had to show up ready to play. Both teams have improved.”

It didn’t help Warwick’s cause, though, that junior Julia Forsythe was unavailable due to sickness.

“Last time we played Hempfield, she had a lot of tips and steals and everything,” Garber said.

The Lady Knights were surely looking to avenge that earlier loss and they got a solid start, opening the game on a 10-0 run, capped by Christine Graves scoring on the post and then knocking down a jumper with 4:58 left in the period.

Graves and Trinity Sumrall scored six points apiece to lead Hempfield.

But Lauren Pyle drained two foul shots, which started Warwick on a quarter-ending 6-0 run, cutting the Lady Knights’ lead to 10-6.

Overall, Warwick was 7-of-10 at the foul line in the opening half.

“That’s a real big positive for us,” Garber said, “because we’ve been pretty bad lately.”

In the second quarter, Pyle — who finished with a game-high nine points to lead all scorers — was 2-of-4 from the field and Weismandel converted a three-point play, helping Warwick outscore Hempfield 10-0 to go into halftime leading 17-10.

“When we were scoring, we were hitting cutters and getting to the foul line,” Garber said.

To start the third, Marie Durkota dropped in a layup and Melissa Grube scored on a putback for Hempfield, but then Pyle buried a three-pointer with 6:08 left in the quarter to put Warwick up 20-14.

But that would be the Lady Warriors’ final points of the night.

“I think we got a little flustered at the end,” Garber remarked.

Asked if that was the sign of their youth, Warwick’s coach said, “Yeah, we’re a young team. I think we need to get a little bit stronger with the ball and that’s experience as well.”

Warwick committed seven of its 12 turnovers in the second half, and Yurchak’s runner with 5:24 left in the fourth proved to be the game-winning bucket.

“We want to keep a positive attitude and we want to instill in them that they’ve just got to keep coming back every day and working hard,” Garber said. “It’s every day, they’ve got to come to practice thinking, ‘What am I going to work on today?’”

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