Warren rallies, makes every minute count
VINCENT — Before Monday night’s opening tip-off between host Warren High and Fort Frye High, the Warrior band played “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” an oldie but goodie from the distant past.
Can’t say that I’ve ever heard the Iron Butterfly’s signature song before at a basketball game. But, the Warrior band did a nice rendition of the tune which was derived from “In the Garden of Eden.”
Well, after Warren rallied from a 20-point first-quarter deficit to win, 50-48, the Warriors were probably on In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida-Cloud-Nine.
You see, Warren basically came back from the dead in this game.
Trailing Dan Liedtke-coached Fort Frye High 27-7 at the end of one, the Warriors (7-5) were all but beat — and buried. Sparked by Morgan Borich and Hannah Archer, the sharpshooting Cadets (10-2) looked like world beaters, closing out the first eight minutes of action with a 17-0 run. FFHS just couldn’t miss.
At that juncture, this girls’ basketball game had “blowout’ written all over it.
But you know what, there were three quarters remaining to play, and Warren made every minute count.
Just how in the world did the Warriors do it?
Well, first and foremost, Warren boss Amy Colgrove deserves a lot of credit. Normally soft-spoken and low keyed, she became very vocal and animated on the sideline during the comeback. She knew there was a lot of game left and wasn’t about to throw in the towel after one quarter.
Colgrove has been around the game for a long time as a player and now as a coach. And, she knew that anything was possible if her charges kept the faith, played hard, and battled.
Then, there was sophomore Olivia Alloway. In the second period, she drained three triples to help jump start the comeback.
She finished with six 3s and a game-high 23 points, almost half of the royal blue and white team’s total.
Warren was able to cut Fort’s lead in half in the second quarter, and only trailed 34-24 at the intermission. After exploding for 11 fields in the opening stanza, the Cadets made only two during the next eight minutes.
“We felt pretty good at halftime,” Colgrove said. “We felt that if we could keep up that intensity, that pressure on them (Cadets), and get some shots to fall…well, it happened. It was a good run.”
Without the hot hand of Alloway, though, Warren probably doesn’t rally, and Fort claims a lopsided win.
But Alloway wasn’t the only Warren cager to make a contribution.
Fearless 5-foot-3 Molly Grayson added 11 points and never hesitated driving the lane. She was also 5 of 7 from the foul line.
Savannah Banks scored on a putback in the second quarter.
Caspen Ford knocked down a big 3 just before the half.
Andrea Place blocked an Archer shot near the basket in the third quarter.
Sommer Saboley had a steal and layup to give the Warriors their first lead (36-34) of the game in the third period.
Madison Miller made two freebies to give Warren a seven-point cushion (45-38) at the 5:19 mark of the fourth quarter.
Millie Ryan and Abbie Smith rebounded, set screens, and clogged the middle on defense.
Colgrove went with a 9-player rotation, and all nine created all kinds of havoc on defense with traps and steals. So much so that Fort didn’t even score in the third quarter. I mean, it was In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida your face D.
And, yet, the Cadets still had a chance to win the game in the final seconds. They had the last shot. But Borich’s potential game-winner from the perimeter was off the mark.
At the conclusion, the Warren band started playing I don’t know what but probably should’ve performed…well, you know what. Rock on.
Ron Johnston is a Marietta Times sports writer, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org