Warren boys too much for Meigs, 60-43
VINCENT — Minus one starter for the season and another for an extended period of time, it would be very easy to take the Warren Warriors basketball team for granted.
For the second time in four days the Warriors proved they are still a force to be reckoned with as they dominated Meigs 60-43 Friday night at Warren High School.
The Warriors are missing starting point guard Seth Dennis for the season and junior forward Josh Welch for several games but head coach Blane Maddox found playing time for all 11 remaining players on his roster as his team put on a defensive clinic for the first three quarters of the game.
“For three quarters we were a very focused basketball team,” said Maddox, whose team downed Marietta on Tuesday night. “We’ve got a lot of guys waiting and just hoping to get a chance and we were fortunate to get every one in there.”
Warren jumped out to an 18-9 lead at the end of the first quarter thanks in part to their ability to score from behind the arc.
Kurt Taylor, Evan Byrd, Brandon Simoniette and Joel Chevalier each knocked down triples in the first eight minutes of the game.
“That was huge for us. If we get a little inside play and a lot of perimeter play like we did in the first quarter we can be a tough out,” said Maddox.
The Warriors quickly added to their lead in the second period as they went on an 11-0 run to push their lead to 20 with less than four minutes to play in the half.
Chevalier scored three consecutive field goals to get things started and after Taylor connected on his second 3-pointer of the half, Byrd capped the run with a short jumper to give the Warriors a 29-9 lead.
Meigs could not get anything going at all against the Warren defense in the opening half as they made just two field goals in 19 attempts while scoring nine of their points at the charity stripe as the Warriors took a 33-13 lead into the intermission.
The Warriors shot a blistering 64 percent (14-22) in the first half while also connecting on five-of-nine from behind the arc.
Meigs tried to take advantage of the Warriors inexperience at the guard position but the Warriors were able to break the press for the most part as they committed just nine turnovers in the game.
“We’ve got good players who are getting used to new positions a little bit,” said Maddox. “We knew we were going to see pressure and everybody thinks they are going to be able to come in here and roll on us but we are going to keep getting better and score when people press us.”
Meigs (2-1) began to heat up a little bit in the second half and got the lead down to as few as 16 at one point but were never able to mount a serious challenge to the white and royal blue.
Warrior junior post player Jake Baumgard scored 13 of his team-high 16 points in the fourth quarter including a pair of three-point plays on strong moves to the basket.
“We know he can give us an inside presence and we looked for him pretty well tonight.” said Maddox of the six-foot-five inch Baumgard. “He’s a force in there and he finished well tonight.”
Joining Baumgard in double figures for the Warriors (2-1) were Chevalier and Simoniette with 12 and 11 points respectively.
Warren limited Marauder sharp-shooter Weston Baer to just four points in the opening half before the senior heated up in the final quarter to finish the night with a game-high 19.
The Warriors will host Fort Frye on Tuesday night.