Prep boys basketball: Warren routs Jackson

VINCENT – The Warren Warriors honored their five seniors prior to Friday night’s home game with Jackson, and then went out and rolled to a 68-22 victory in a Southeast Ohio Athletic League contest.

Already crowned the 2012-2013 conference champions, the Warriors never trailed in the game as they outscored Jackson 39-6 in the middle two periods to notch their 20th win of the regular season for the first time in school history.

Head coach Blaine Maddox started all five seniors and kept them on the floor for at least half of the opening quarter before getting normal starters Evan French, Reece Patton, and Michael Hall into the game.

The Warriors jumped out to a 9-0 lead on five points by senior Danny Pannell and baskets by fellow seniors Adam Lang and Evan Yabs.

Jackson answered with a modest 5-0 run to close the lead to four with under two minutes to play in the first but French’s trey and a short jumper by Patton increased the big blue lead to 14-5.

On a night with very few bright spots for the Ironmen, Tyler Neal provided a brief spark as he closed the first quarter and opened the second quarter with three- pointers to trim the Warrior lead to 14-11.

That would be the last Jackson points of the first half as the Warriors went on an 18-0 run to close out the first half with a huge 32-11 lead.

Once again Pannell would have the hot hand for the Warriors to open the second half as he drilled back-to-back triples, both coming on assists from senior Matt Drayer, and the Warriors scored the first 14 points of the second half.

The Warrior defense held Jackson scoreless for almost 14 minutes as the run stretched to an incredible 34-0 before Jordan Helman connected on a free throw attempt with 2:20 to play in the third.

The big lead allowed Maddox the opportunity to get almost everyone on his bench into the game and plenty of minutes for his senior class in their next to last contest at “Warrior Coliseum”.

Pannell led the way for Warren with 14 points, while Lang and Patton both finished with double-doubles as Lang scored 11 points and grabbed 12 boards while Patton yanked down 10 rebounds to go along with 11 points.

After the game the Warriors continued a tradition as seniors’ Yabs, Dylan Leffingwell, Drayer, Lang, and Pannell all addressed the Warren student body and the remaining Warrior faithful.

Maddox also spoke to the crowd and had high praise for his group of seniors.

“What I am most proud of this senior group is their willingness to sacrifice for the team,” said Maddox, in his 14th year as Warren head coach. “They all want to play and they all want their minutes, but most of all they all want to win.”

The Warriors, now 20-1 on the season, will close out regular season play Saturday in a make-up, SEOAL game against Portsmouth.

The junior varsity team, led by coach Mark Duckworth, will be looking to complete a perfect season against Portsmouth and then afterwards the varsity squad will look to complete a perfect conference season before beginning sectional tournament play next Saturday.