Warren girls roll past Bradford, head into Region 6 play unbeaten
The 9-game slate before the Region 6 schedule begins for the Warren Lady Dragons featured a mixture of tough games and smooth sailing against overmatched opponents.
And while Saturday’s 55-23 win over Bradford falls into the latter category, it also ensured that the Lady Dragons passed every single one of those tests en route to a 9-0 start to their season.
“We had our stretch early, where we really had to claw and fight for those wins and really set the tone with where we’re at right now,” said Warren coach Lisa LaVan, referring to wins over Panama (NY), McDowell, Greenville and Erie. “This last stretch has been pretty easy, but I think in coaching and with our players, we try to get them to stay focused on making the right adjustments and continuing to work on the things we need to work on, which we did in this game.”
It was a game in which Warren got off to a somewhat sloppy start, but still managed to lead 11-5 after the first quarter thanks to back-to-back buckets by senior guard Margo Loutzenhiser, who finished with a game-high 15 points.
Over the next two quarters, their defense and quickness were simply overwhelming.
Their full-court pressure forced a number of turnovers for the Lady Owls (1-8), and they were quick to push the pace after Bradford misses, which also led to a number of easy baskets.
They went on a 19-2 run in the second quarter, which started on an Alanna Hultberg layup and ended with a strong drive to the hoop by Loutzenhiser.
In between, Riley Childress drained a 3, Emma Ruhlman had an impressive coast-to-coast drive for a layup and Sierra Matson hit a mid-range jumper, helping extend the lead to 30-7 at halftime.
“There’s some things I can find that weren’t good, that we need to work on,” LaVan added. “There’s been a couple of things we’ve been really focused on and I saw huge improvements with those today, so I was happy about that.”
It was more of the same in the third, as the Lady Dragons scored the first 16 points of the half, which was capped by a 3 from Loutzenhiser and a layup by Taylor Childress.
By then, the lead was 46-9 and the run was 37-4, at which point they took their foot off the gas.
Ruhlman had 14 points and her along with Loutzenhiser each had 10 rebounds for double-doubles.
Loutzenhiser also had six steals and dished out five assists.
“Margo just played an unbelievably complete game,” LaVan said. “She is so much more than just a scorer. She’s a complete player.”
Erica Marshall had 9 points to lead Bradford.
The Lady Dragons also coasted in the JV game, 37-11, thanks to 13 points each from Katie Madigan and Halee Mineweaser, as well as 7 from Teagan Paris.
Now, they turn their attention to what is an absolutely loaded Region 6, starting with a road game at Fort LeBoeuf on Monday.
Harbor Creek, General McLane and Villa make this as good a region as there is in District 10.
Ali Benim hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift Harbor Creek to a 44-41 win over previously unbeaten West Middlesex on Saturday, making Warren at Harbor Creek the lone remaining unbeaten teams in D-10.
McLane has just one loss and Villa two, but one of those was to Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Ca.), which has the No. 1 ranked player in the country, Haley Jones, who just recently committed to Stanford over UConn, Notre Dame, Oregon and South Carolina.
“Harbor Creek got a big win over West Middlesex … our region is tough,” LaVan said. “General McLane, Harbor Creek, Villa, Fort LeBoeuf, all of them are right in the mix. It’s going to be a challenge, which is nice.
“We’re 9-0 which obviously is fantastic. We’re about where we think we should be, but we still have work to do. We still have a ways to go, which is OK. My goal is to peak at the end of February and into March. And we’re not there yet, so that’s a good thing.”
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Maley 0-0-2-0, Marshall 3-3-4-9, Lary 2-3-6-8, Huber 2-0-0-4, Warner 0-0-0-0, Swanson 1-0-0-2, Keane 0-0-0-0, Cleveland 0-0-0-0, Close 0-0-0-0, Totals 8-6-13-23
T. Childress 2-0-0-4, Hultberg 2-0-2-4, R. Childress 3-0-0-8, Ruhlman 6-2-4-14, Loutzenhiser 7-0-0-15, Matson 1-0-0-2, Stuart 2-1-2-6, Paris 1-0-0-2, Madigan 0-0-0-0, Mineweaser 0-0-0-0, Kraft 0-0-0-0, Bowman 0-0-0-0, Totals 24-3-8-55
Bradford 5 2 7 9 – 23
Warren 11 19 16 9 – 55
Three-point FGs: Bradford (1) – Lary; Warren (4) – R. Childress 2, Loutzenhiser, Stuart
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Babcock 0-0-0-0, Cleveland 1-0-0-2, Close 1-1-6-3, Keane 1-0-0-2, Kerr o0-0-0-0, Longo 0-0-0-0, Hallock 0-0-0-0, Long 2-0-0-4, McClain 0-0-0-0, Totals 5-1-6-11
Mineweaser 5-3-4-13, Madigan 4-3-6-13, Paris 3-1-6-7, Kraft 0-0-0-0, Bowman 2-0-0-4, Walker 0-0-0-0, Totals 14-7-16-37
Bradford 2 3 0 6 – 11
Warren 12 10 13 2 – 37
Three-point FGs: Bradford – None; Warren (2) – Madigan 2