Perhaps the toughest tests for a basketball team early in the season are dealing with transition and learning to rebound. In a lot of ways, both Warwick and McCaskey passed those tests Monday night in their L-L Section One scrum.
The host Tornado did a lot of both throughout the first half of a 62-51 defeat of Warwick, however, building a 22-point halftime lead before fending off the Warriors’ late charge, to rebound from their first loss of the season last Friday to Section One front-runner Cedar Crest.
“Sometimes if you lose that’s a good thing,” said McCaskey coach Brian McCloud. “They have to understand Cedar Crest is marked and we’re marked. It’s not a disrespectful thing; we did some damage last year so they (opponents) want to do some damage, too. We have to respect our opponent, don’t think anyone is just going to give us anything.”
Paris Todd led the first half charge for McCaskey (6-1 overall, 4-1 Section One), putting up a trio of field goals in each of the first two quarters as Warwick (5-4, 4-1) struggled in all phases early on.
The Red Tornado held a 12-6 rebounding edge in the first, many of them second or third offensive chances, and scored a ton in transition following Warwick misses to build a 17-5 lead after one.
The Red Tornado jumped out to a big first half lead and was able to hold off Warwick in a Section One matchup on Monday, December 21, 2015. John Buffone
“Our shots weren’t falling—I don’t know what our shot percentage was—we wanted to convert on those but we didn’t,” said first-year coach of the Warriors, Janelle Garber. “They had an off night. McCaskey, you have to give it to them. They rebounded well and hit their shots tonight.”
Samantha Earle paced the Warriors in the first half with eight points while leading scorer Rylee Derr shook off a slow start to finish with a team-high 15, closing to within 54 points of the 1,000-point plateau for her career. Derr, a junior, scored 13 points in the second half, opening the third quarter with both a traditional and behind-the-arc three as Warwick mounted a comeback.
Kate Martin also helped spark Warwick with 11 points off the bench, starting a trio of field goals to end the third capped by Derr’s steal and lay-in, part of a 10-1 run to close to 47-30 after three.
“I think they let down a little bit, but we have to do better,” McCloud said. When you’re up by 20 you have to have better third quarters, have to develop a killer instinct. Warwick kept coming.”
Warwick would close to within 11 points on three separate occasions in the fourth, but could get no closer. The loss ends Warwick’s five-game winning streak under Garber, after the team finished with just six wins a year ago.
“We have been talking about that,” Garber said facing a team like McCaskey in the midst of a streak. “The games we had won we should have won and we knew this week was going to be a tough week. McCaskey is a tough team, so is Hempfield, so we have another tough game Wednesday night.”
The Tornado maintained their double-digit lead as Ahnera Parker (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Jaileen Short (13 points, 4 steals) kept the offense moving.
“We didn’t come out the way we wanted to in the third quarter, we held them off,” said McCloud, whose team will travel to play Penn Manor on Wednesday. “We got the win but we still have to play better.
“What we’re worried about now is our turnovers and making sure we have our defensive rotation right to get it by the end of the season, or before there. That’s what we’re working on.”
J.P. McCaskey 62, Warwick 51
R. Derr 6 1-1 15, S. Earle 5 3-7 13, K. Martin 4 2-2 11, K. Hipple 2 2-2 6, R. Ross 1 1-2 3, J. Kolp 1 1-2 3, K. Sheaffer 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 10-16 51.
J.P. McCaskey (62)
A. Parker 5 6-7 16, J. Short 5 3-4 13, P. Todd 6 0-0 12, P. Reid-White 2 1-1 6, B. Perry 1 3-5 5, S. Kemmerer 2 0-2 4, S. Weller 1 0-0 3, B. Seals 1 1-2 3, A. Johnson 0 0-0 0, J. Richardson 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 14-21 62.
WW _ 05 _ 09 _ 16 _ 21 _ — _ 51
JPM _ 17 _ 19 _ 11 _ 15 _ — _ 62
3-Point Goals — Warwick 3 (R. Derr 2, K. Martin); McCaskey 2 (P. Reid-White, S. Weller)
JV Score — J.P. McCaskey 31, Warwick 25