Dragons fall 74-51 to talented McDowell squad
ERIE – Warren knew Wednesday’s game against McDowell would be a challenge, but ultimately it’s one they will be better for.
The Trojans hit 11 3-pointers – six of which came in the first quarter, en route to a 74-51 win over the visiting Dragons.
Cole Becker led the way with 19 points for McDowell, while 6-10 Nigerian import Olanrewaju Olamuyiwa, who played for St. Vincent Pallotti High School in Laurel, MD last season, had 18.
“We came out in a zone because of their size and they hit six 3’s in the first quarter,” said Warren coach Jeff Berdine. “They moved the ball well and got some open looks and that gave them a working margin for the rest of the game.”
The Dragons, who scored 104 points in a win over VisionQuest on Saturday, were able to knock down some open looks of their own, led by junior guard Jake Kupchella, who led Warren with 17 points.
“We shot the ball well, we were aggressive and we attacked, we just couldn’t get enough stops on the defensive end,” noted Berdine.
Olamuyiwa, a junior, who has offers from Kent State and Florida International, among others, scored six quick points to start the second half, stifling the chances Warren had of mounting a comeback.
William Jeffress, a 6-6 freshman forward who is already being courted by multiple Division I schools, finished with nine points for McDowell, while Caleb Ei added eight points and seven rebounds for Warren and Griffin Suppa seven points and five assists.
Warren closes out a tough week and challenging schedule to start the season at Cathedral Prep on Friday, followed by a home game against Bradford on Monday and their Region 6 opener next Friday at home against Conneaut.
Berdine likes where his team is at in the early stages.
“I like what I see,” he said. “This game and the Prep game will give us a good look to see where we’re at and I’m interested to see how it plays out against Bradford and Conneaut next week.”
Tyler Gustafson had a very strong game for the Warren JV team, scoring 20 points, an effort that included six 3’s.
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Kupchella 7-0-0-17, Davis 1-0-0-2, Johnson 3-0-0-7, Funari 1-0-0-2, Morrison1-0-0-2, Davidson 2-0-0-6, Ei 2-4-6-8, Suppa 2-3-3-7, McMeans 0-0-0-0, Totals 12-6-9-11-51
Beck 2-0-0-6, Gallagher 4-4-5-13, Manczka 1-0-0-2, Becker 6-2-2-19, Jeffress 4-0-2-9, Palmero 0-1-2-1, Meola 2-0-0-6, Olamuyiwa 7-4-6-18, Totals 26-11-17-74
Warren 11 13 10 17 – 51
McDowell 29 16 19 10 – 74
Three-point FGs: Warren (7) – Kupchella 3, Johnson 2, Davidson 2; McDowell (11) – Becker 5, Beck 2, Meola 2, Gallagher, Jeffress
Funari 0-0-0-0, Arnold 2-0-2-5, Gustafson 7-0-0-20, Swanson 1-0-0-2, Vazquez 0-0-0-0, Bablak 0-0-0-0, Hussey 2-0-0-5, Rafalski 2-0-0-5