Hoopin’ it up: Maddox gets No. 200 in Warren win over Logan
VINCENT – Fourteen years ago, Blane Maddox journeyed up the river from his hometown of Logan to become the varsity basketball coach of the Warren Warriors, a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League rival of the Chieftains.
But Wednesday evening, Maddox might as well have been wearing purple, because the Chiefs and their fans loved him almost as much as the Warriors.
Maddox received his 200th career coaching victory – all with the Warriors – when Warren defeated the visiting Chieftains 80-45 at Warren High School in Vincent Wednesday evening.
And as the Warriors celebrated, fans wearing Chieftain purple came down to embrace the man that left their city and went on to build a basketball dynasty in Warrior country. Maddox is the first boys’ basketball coach to ever win 200 games at Warren High School, and just the second basketball coach joining former girls’ coach Dennis Biddinger.
“You don’t think about 200, or even 100,” Maddox said. “What I’m proud of is doing it at one school. That’s difficult to do today.”
In his 14 year coaching career with the Warriors, Maddox’s teams have averaged over 14 wins a season.
“He does everything for us. He has to leave his family for us to come to practices,” said Warren senior Dylan Leffingwell. “Coach is real passionate about the game. He’s always on us to keep that passion, that fire for the game.”
No where was that passion, that fire more evident for the Warriors than Wednesday night against the Chiefs, when Warren opened the game by hitting seven of its first nine field goals to virtually assure their coach of win No. 200.
By the time the first quarter was done, the Warriors were an impressive 11-of-16 from the floor and a perfect 4-of-4 from the stripe to lead 26-8, and there was no looking back.
“We came out with a good start to the game. That really followed through the rest of the way,” said Warren senior Danny Pannell.
Fresh off their first defeat of the season, a 69-47 loss at the hands of Upper Arlington, the Warriors bounced back to secure their sixth win of the campaign and remain perfect in SEOAL play.
“They got off the mat and they came back,” Maddox praised. “They attacked the rim and they moved the ball.”
That ball movement gave the Warriors plenty of easy offensive opportunities, as Warren hit on 69 percent of its shots in the first quarter and 58 percent of the field goals in the first half. For the game, the Warriors converted 55 percent of their field goals, going 30-for-55 from the floor.
Conversely, Logan was a woeful 6-of-17 in the first half and 13-for-40 for the game. Even worse for the Chiefs, they were 16-of-31 from the free throw line.
“We played a little mad, a little tough,” said Leffingwell, who was one of four Warriors in double figures with 12 points.
“We just need to play hard like we did (Wednesday) night.”
The Warriors wasted no time in getting the game rolling, as junior Reece Patton converted an easy jumper off an assist from Michael Hall just 17 seconds into the contest.
Warren would never look back, as Evan French tallied four of his game high 23 points over the course of the next 1:26 and the Warriors would lead 16-1 on French’s layup with 4:12 to play in the first quarter, prompting a timeout from Logan coach John Helber.
At that time, the Warriors were 7-of-9 from the floor, and they didn’t slow down as they built the lead to 26-8 after one quarter of play when Patton converted another layup off Leffingwell’s assist.
All five starters for Warren scored, and overall nine different players put the ball in the basket. Of the 14 players that stepped on the court, 13 of them had rebounds and eight recorded an assist.
“Everybody seemed to be clicking and moving the ball,” Pannell said. “We were getting each other open.”
The Warrior momentum was dampened somewhat in the second quarter, as fouls defensively slowed the pace somewhat.
Despite their over-aggressiveness defensively, the Warriors maintained their swagger on offense, as the lead continued to blossom as Warren led 45-22 at the break and 69-33 after three quarters of play.
Warren enjoyed its biggest lead of 39 points with 4:47 to play in the fourth quarter when Leffingwell converted a pair of free throws.
By that point, there was no doubt in the outcome of the game, and when the clock struck zero the Warriors and Chiefs joined together to celebrate Maddox’s accomplishment.
“I just want to thank Coach for sticking with us, and never giving up on us,” Leffingwell said.
“He (Maddox) just brings a lot of energy to us,” Pannell said. “Shout out to Coach Maddox for his 200th win.”