Getting personal: Dragons score big win at Harbor Creek

Caleb Ei scored a game-high 23 points as the Dragons rolled past Harbor Creek.

HARBOR CREEK, Pa. – For the Warren seniors, this one was personal.

Having never won at Harbor Creek during their time in a Dragon uniform, they came out after a slow first half for both teams and dominated over the final 16 minutes en route to a 48-29 win.

“I know for these seniors, this was on their bucket list,” said Warren coach Jeff Berdine. “For them to get a victory here, in a place we haven’t played particularly well, is really good.”

After a lengthy holiday layoff, the Dragons were a little rusty out of the gate, trailing 16-15 at the half.

Starting forward Aidan Morrison picked up two fouls in the first two minutes of the game, but the Dragon bench, led by Jake Funari, Thomas Bablak and Ben Berdine all stepped up and played well.

“The stats might not show it, but those guys played really well,” Berdine said. “It was a slow start by both teams. After being off for so long, I was a little worried about that. They (Harbor Creek) weren’t really sharp either, which gave us a chance to find our footing.”

The second half was a different story, as the Dragons (4-4 overall, 2-1 Region 6) came out and outscored the Huskies 15-4 in the third quarter to assume command.

Offensively, Caleb Ei did a ton of damage, scoring 18 of his game-high 23 points in the second half.

With the Huskies face-guarding Griffin Suppa, who was coming off a career-high in points against General McLane, Ei took over.

Jake Kupchella, who finished with 9 points, buried a key 3 in the third-quarter surge and Devin McMeans finished with 8 points and was all over the floor for the Dragons.

“The kids did a good job in transition getting Caleb the ball,” Berdine said. “Devin McMeans played his best game to date. He had three big assists in the second half and made some really nice plays in transition. A good confidence booster for him.

“Once we got a lead, we adjusted our defensive philosophy and really made them work for it. I thought Aidan, Jake and Caleb all did a good job rebounding.”

Suppa found other ways to spark the offense, finishing with a team-high six assists, while Ei had six rebounds and Kupchella five rebounds and three steals.

Greg Barney led Harbor Creek (2-7, 0-2) with 11 points.

Warren now has a few days off before they take on fellow Region 6 contender Oil City (6-1, 2-0) at home on Tuesday.

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WARREN (48)

Morrison 0-0-0-0, Kupchella 3-1-2-9, McMeans 4-0-0-8, Ei 10-2-2-23, Suppa 1-0-0-2, Berdine 1-0-0-3, Grosch 1-1-2-3, Funari 0-0-0-0, Bablak 0-0-0-0, Totals 20-4-6-48

HARBOR CREEK (29)

Whitman 1-0-0-3, Ca. Smith 0-4-4-4, Howell 1-0-0-3, Langer-Williamson 0-0-0-0, Rocco 0-0-0-0, Ennis 2-0-0-4, Stanyard 1-0-0-2, Co. Smith 1-0-0-2, Barney 2-6-8-11, Totals 8-10-12-29

By Quarters

Warren 7 8 15 18 – 48

Harbor Creek 8 8 4 9 – 29

Three-points FGs: Warren (4) – Kupchella 2, Ei, Berdine; Harbor Creek (3) – Whitman, Howell, Barney

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JV

WARREN (37)

R. Arnold 1-0-0-3, Rafalski 0-0-0-0, Berdine 1-1-2-3, Bablak 2-2-2-6, B. Arnold 0-0-0-0, Gustafson 1-0-0-2, Hussey 2-0-0-4, Borger 0-0-0-0, Swanson 2-0-0-4, Barnes 3-3-3-9, Vazquez 0-1-2-1, Salapek 2-0-0-5, Totals 14-7-9-37

HARBOR CREEK (57)

Whitman 2-1-2-5, Ca. Smith 3-0-0-7, Hopwood 0-0-0-0, Vaughn 7-6-8-23, Kienholz 2-0-0-6, Sterrett 3-3-4-3, Krahe 1-0-0-2, Boland 1-1-2-3, Yale 0-0-0-0, Kline 4-0-0-8, Totals 20-11-16-57

By Quarters

Warren 3 16 8 10 – 37

Harbor Creek 15 10 20 12 — 57

Three-point FGs: Harbor Creek (6) -Vaughn 3, Kienholz 2, Smith

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