Mixed results for Warriors at River City High School Classic

JORDAN HOLLAND, The Marietta Times Warren's Clay Miller, right, and Austin Barta, left, defend Whitehall-Yearling's KeVaughn Wiggins (5) and Amir Dallas during a River City High School Classic basketball game Friday at Marietta College's Ban Johnson Arena.

Thanks to a missed free-throw with three-tenths of a second left in the game, Warren High escaped with a 48-47 win over Whitehall-Yearling in a River City High School Classic basketball game Friday night at Marietta College’s Ban Johnson Arena.

Down two with time running out, Whitehall’s Royal Sibley missed back-to-back shot attempts before being fouled going for a rebound.

In the double-bonus, Sibley was set to attempt two foul shots.

He converted the first one before Warren head coach Blane Maddox called timeout.

Out of the timeout, Sibley’s second attempt hit off the back iron. Warren’s Bryce Knost collected the rebound to secure the win for the Warriors, who improved to 5-2 and are back in action against New Lexington Saturday.

“The ruckus and the timeout, I was trying to make it chaotic and make him wait,” Maddox said of the final free-throw attempt. “We played a game like that where I didn’t use a timeout and the guy made it. I thought, with .3 on the clock, there’s nothing we’re going to do with the ball anyway so I thought I’d try it. It worked out.”

Whitehall (4-3) finished just 8 for 21 from the charity stripe in the game, but individually, Sibley made his first five free-throw shots in the game before the final miss. He led the Rams with 17 points.

Warren carried a 19-15 lead into halftime and stretched it seven, 31-24, going into the fourth quarter before Whitehall rallied. Three-pointers by Sibley and Taylon Cofer got the Rams within 33-30. Later, a Charles Miller trey cut Warren’s lead to 37-35. KeVaughn Wiggins’ layup with a little less than five minutes remaining tied the game at 39-all before his basket with 4:10 left to play put Whitehall up 41-40 for its first lead of the game.

Noah Nichols and Seth Dennis went back and forth with the Rams over the final eight minutes. Dennis, who finished with a team-high 15 points and six steals, scored 10 of his points in the fourth quarter while Nichols, who tallied 14 points and six rebounds, scored six of his points in the fourth, including a putback which followed a 3 by Dennis to give Warren a 47-43 lead with 1:27 on the clock.

“We stayed at it,” Maddox said. “We felt like we were getting a lot of looks once we beat their pressure.”

Miller answered with a 3-pointer before Dennis hit a freebie to make it 48-46 with 25 seconds left, setting up Sibley’s trip to the free-throw line.

“It was a nice ballgame,” Maddox said. “They made a run at us and we answered the call. Big win for us.”

Warren got six points and six boards from Barta while Clay Miller added six points and three assists. Whitehall received eight points apiece from Cofer and Wiggins. Dennis and Cofer were named the players of the game.

Maddox said the win against a strong school from the Columbus area was big for his program.

“I’m just happy for us,” he said. “Our schedule is so strong. This one, against a Columbus team — we’re trying to make noise outside of Southeast Ohio. I told the fellas, ‘We’re respected a lot of places. Let’s continue that.’ We came out and played a good ballgame.”

GIRLS

Warren held a 13-8 lead after a quarter during a River City High School Classic game against South Charleston Friday at Ban Johnson Arena, but the Black Eagles took over at the start of second quarter.

South Charleston rallied to tie the score at 18-all at halftime before outscoring the Warriors 31-15 in the second half en route to a 49-33 victory.

The Black Eagles remained unbeaten this season, improving to 7-0 overall while Warren fell to 4-4.

A 3-pointer by Molly Grayson and a pair of treys by Olivia Alloway had Warren up 9-6 early. Baskets by Andrea Place and Abby Smith made it 13-8 going into the second quarter.

South Charleston cut into Warren’s advantage in the second period before Lavender Ward’s jumper at the buzzer tied the game at 18 at halftime. Ward finished with 10 points, seven steals and three assists and was named the player of the game.

South Charleston scored the first five points of the third quarter and eight of the first 10, capped by a three-point play by Lashae Watts, to take a 26-20 lead. Following her basket-and-one, Watts scored four more points followed by Maliha Witten’s three-point play to give the Eagles a 10-point lead, 33-23.

Warren wasn’t able to recover and watched as South Charleston’s lead ballooned to as many as 17 points, 43-26.

Watts led South Charleston with 13 points to go along with six rebounds. Myra Cuffee added 10 points and eight boards while Witten chipped in seven and eight.

The Black Eagles shot just 37 percent (20 for 54) but held Warren to 26 percent (12 for 47).

The Warriors were led by Alloway’s 11 points and Grayson’s 10. Smith contributed a team-high eight rebounds while Millie Ryan blocked two shots.

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