Dec 19, 2021
VINCENT — Less than a day after the Warren boys won a tight game in dramatic fashion at home, the girls did the same in a 36-34 win over the New Philadelphia Quakers on Saturday afternoon. Points were at a premium all game, as key defensive plays kept the game tight throughout.
Abbie Smith had her way in the first half; collecting 10 points and five boards in a low-scoring first 16 minutes, and she wasn’t the only Warrior to get in on the action. Alex Frazee had three of her four assists in the first half, as she dished two dimes to Smith and one more to Tessa Haffner. Her nine points were right behind Smith’s game-high, as both Warriors had moments that helped the team overcome the East Central Ohio League-rival Quakers.
After Haffner hit a shot to make the score 32-26 with 2:43 remaining, NP called on its own presence in the paint to claw back in the contest. Ajia Schretter had herself a day with 15 points and five boards, and she made sure her team wouldn’t go down for the first time this year without a fight. A pair of close range buckets drew the visitors to within a pair, and that was thanks to New Philly’s fullcourt press that caused a couple Warren turnovers with less than two minutes left.
Her second consecutive make came with 1:05 on the clock, so Smith had to come up clutch in the ensuing possession at the free throw line. Smith swished the 1-and-1 and the second free throw to make it 34-30, and soon, Frazee had to do the same.
After Schretter scored again with 24.6 seconds left, the Quakers got a quick chance to tie the game after Frazee couldn’t hang on to the ensuing inbound pass. That fullcourt press paid dividends, but Frazee got her redemption just moments later. Schretter got the ball in the low post with time fading, as she challenged Smith with a shot that rimmed in and out. From there, Schretter tried to collect an offensive rebound, but Frazee stripped her of the ball. On the other end, Frazee made her free throws, as Warren improved to 5-2 on the year after this pivotal ECOL matchup.
WHS head coach Amy Way talked about those late-game heroics at the charity stripe and how the team overcame a collection of second-half turnovers.
“That was big. She missed a couple earlier, but she stepped up and when we needed her the most to hit those shots, she did,” Way said of Smith at the free throw line before talking about Frazee. “(Abbie) also shot a jumper at the free throw line, and that was big. I’ll take Alex on the free throw line on any given day. I think she’s 90-something percent, so she’s pretty much money at the line.”
In talking about late-game miscues, Way said it was the product of a physical afternoon. However, Way said this win came down to taking care of business with a new group of girls “looking to find themselves.” Warren hits the road on Monday to play at Union Local. As for New Philadelphia, head coach Kevin Cornell said his team couldn’t capitalize on enough opportunities, and that made it harder to compete down the stretch.
“You can’t give good teams good starts, and we did not play very well today, especially in the first half (down 19-11 at the break),” he said. “We had to battle back, and I give the girls credit for fighting back, but you can’t be down like that against a good team. Our pressure gave us good looks to come back, but we missed some easy ones around the rim that I think we let get in our heads.”
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