Warriors win 20th game in a row past Unioto
By Mike Morrison
VINCENT – The Warren Lady Warriors put an exclamation point on a spectacular regular season Monday night as they downed the Unioto Lady Shermans 55-38
The win was the 20th straight for the Warriors who find themselves ranked fourth in Division II and improved their season mark to 21-1.
The Warriors trailed by two points at the end of the first quarter and by two at the halftime break before limiting Unioto to just 12 second half points to win going away.
Sophomore Abbie Smith tossed in a game-high 17 points and senior Sommer Saboley added 14 to lead the way for home team.
The Shermans had the hot hand early on as they knocked down six 3-pointers in the opening half including four in the opening quarter before the Warriors made an adjustment at halftime that would stifle them in the second half.
“We had to switch our defense up a little bit and made some adjustments at halftime,” said Warren head coach Amy Colgrove. “We did a better job of getting out and guarding their shooters and stopping their penetration a little bit and then were able to capitalize on the other end.”
Six early points from Smith early in the third quarter gave the Warriors a four-point lead before a 3-pointer by Hallie Pinkerton cut the lead to one.
Nine of the 13 field goals made by Unioto in the game were from behind the arc compared to just three triples for the Warriors but two of them came back-to-back late in the third quarter by Molly Grayson and Savannah Banks as Warren began to put some distance between themselves and the visitors.
A 3-pointer by Emily Coleman trimmed the lead back to four before Smith and junior Millie Ryan each converted a pair of free throws to extend the Warrior lead to 42-34 at the end of three.
The fundamentally sound Warriors took care of business at the charity stripe as they made 20-of-24 in the game.
An Olivia Alloway deuce gave the Warriors their first double-digit lead of the night and after another triple from Coleman briefly halted the Warren momentum, they went on an 11-1 run to close out the game and the near-perfect regular season.
Warren forced the Shermans into 24 turnovers in the game while also out-rebounding them by a healthy 32-24 margin.
Colgrove felt that her team’s defense was the difference in the game and had high praise for the job senior Emme Bowe did on the defensive end, especially in the second half.
“I will dispute with anybody that Emme (Bowe) is as good as a defensive player as anybody in the state,” said Colgrove of the Warrior’s defensive specialist. “With her length, her speed, her ability to get deflections and create turnovers she can change the game without scoring and I thought she did that tonight.”
Ryan led the Warriors in rebounds with seven while Grayson and Banks added six points apiece.
Pinkerton and Coleman paced the Shermans (17-4) with 12 points apiece.
The Warriors will take a brief amount of time to celebrate their outstanding regular season before turning their attention to sectional tournament play when they open as a three-seed against 14th seeded Hillsboro Saturday afternoon in Logan (1:45).
“We’ve got to keep focused and I like the way we these past few games have kind of felt like a tournament atmosphere,” said Colgrove. “Being able to come from behind was big and I think it kind of prepares us for what’s ahead.”