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Dutch top Dragons

Times Observer photo by Andy Close Warren’s Tom Bablak goes up for two of his nine points during the first half against St. Marys, Monday, December 9, 2019, at Joseph A. Massa Gymnasium. Bablak had a strong game, but the Dragons lost for the first time this season, 46-35.

There was plenty of excitement coming into Monday’s game for the Warren Dragons. After all, they were fresh off a thrilling win in the championship game of the Brookville tip-off tournament and had an energetic crowd for their home opener against St. Marys.

The visiting Dutchmen put a bit of a damper on what was a great start to the season for the Dragons, however, with a 46-35 win in front of a packed house at Joseph A. Massa Gymnasium.

“First home game, there was a lot of energy, a lot of emotion, but offensively we were were just impatient,” said Warren coach Jeff Berdine. “We settled for a lot of bad shots.”

Ben Berdine, who scored 40 points in the two games at Brookville, tallied six in the first four minutes against the Dutch, but foul trouble limited him the rest of the way.

He picked up two in the first quarter and then a third right before he was going to check out in the second quarter.

Times Observer photo by Andy Close Warren’s Peyton Barnes brings the ball up the floor while being defended by St. Marys’ Luke Lasko (31) during the first half of their game Monday, December 9, 2019 at Joseph A. Massa Gymnasium. Lasko led the Dutch to the victory with a game-high 16 points.

He sat the final six minutes of the first half and picked up his fourth on a charge a minute into the third quarter, limiting his production.

“I told Ben you got two bad fouls,” coach Berdine said. “He reached at half court and then a kid took a charge on him. Those are ones you just can’t make.”

The Dragons jumped out to a 12-5 lead, but St. Marys came back to tie it at the end of the first quarter, thanks to the strong shooting of Luke Lasko, who scored 10 of his game-high 16 points in the opening eight minutes.

Mitch Grosch, who led the Dragons (2-1) with a team-high 12 points, drilled a 3 to open the second quarter, but St. Marys took the lead on a Lasko layup a short time later and never trailed again.

St. Marys’ (2-1) starting guards – Nick Catalone and Cahil Parrish, controlled the tempo of the game, a methodical approach that usually ended with the Dutch getting a good shot.

“Those two guards of St. Marys really dictate the tempo of the game,” coach Berdine said. “I thought Mitchell did a good job on Parrish, but you just can’t get down to them. They remind me a lot of Girard. They’re going to take the air out of it and get the shots they want.”

The Dragons stayed within striking distance most of the way but just couldn’t get over the hump. Trailing 23-19 at halftime, Tyler Gustafson hit a 3 early in the third and Tom Bablak made a jumper to get them within two.

But St. Marys had an answer every time.

Berdine re-entered in the fourth quarter and his layup got the Dragons within 36-32, but that’s when Parrish and Catalone really took over.

They worked to get their shot, and with the Dragons down, they were forced to chase and foul, and St. Marys was able to pull away late.

“Like Jeff (assistant coach Jeff Eaton) said, it’s good to see this kind of guard play early, between Brookville and St. Marys,” noted coach Berdine. “We’re going to half to be able to defend those kinds of guards when it comes to region play.

“These are games you want to play early in the year. We go to Prep on Wednesday, which will be another one and then we jump right in with two league games.”

Peyton Barnes and Ryan Arnold, the latter of whom was limited most of the game after turning his ankle in the first quarter, led the Dragons with three assists each, while Grosch and Rafalski had three steals apiece.

– – –

The Dragon JV squad picked up a 37-23 win after being tied at halftime. Bryce Blair led a balanced effort with 10 points, while Ben White added six.

The Dragon freshmen opened a busy day of hoops, falling to Mercyhurst Prep, 58-38. Owen Becker had nine points and Anthony Errett and Jack Darling eight each. They travel to Bradford on Wednesday.

– – –

VARSITY

ST. MARYS (46)

Parrish 1-0-0-2, Catalone 4-4-5-12, Rusciolelli 0-0-0-0, Lasko 7-0-0-16, Walker 2-2-3-7, Housler 0-0-0-0, Lenze 0-0-0-0, Nunes 0-0-0-0, Reiter 2-3-4-8, Schlimm 0-1-2-1, Totals 16-10-14-46

WARREN (35)

Arnold 0-0-0-0, Berdine 4-0-0-8, Bablak 4-1-2-9, Grosch 5-1-1-12, Barnes 0-0-0-0, Gustafson 1-0-0-3, Swanson 0-0-0-0, Rafalski 1-1-2-3, Vazquez 0-0-0-0, Blum 0-0-0-0, Totals 15-3-5-35

By Quarters

St. Marys 12 11 11 12 – 46

Warren 12 7 11 5 – 35

Three-point FGs: St. Marys (4) – Lasko 2, Walker, Reiter

– – –

JV: Warren 37, St. Marys 23

ST. MARYS (23)

Mitchell 1-2-4-4, Fox 1-0-0-2, Thorwart 2-0-0-6, Reitz 1-0-0-3, Spangler 1-0-0-2, Billie 1-0-0-2, Straub 1-1-2-4, Totals 8-3-6-23

WARREN (37)

Ordiway 1-0-0-2, Borger 2-0-3-4, White 3-0-2-6, Rich 2-0-0-4, Blum 2-0-2-4, McMeans 0-1-2-1, Vega 1-2-2-4, Blair 5-0-2-10, Darling 0-0-0-0, Greene 1-0-2-2, Totals 17-3-15-37

By Quarters

St. Marys 8 10 2 3 -23

Warren 6 12 14 5 – 37

Three-point FGs: St. Marys (4) – Thorwart 2, Straub, Reitz; Warren – None

– – –

Freshmen: Mercyhurst Prep 58, Warren 38

WARREN: Nebinski 0-0-0-0, Teconchu 1-0-0-3, Becker 4-1-2-9, Errett 2-4-5-8, Farr 1-0-0-2, Darling 2-3-4-8, Lynds 0-1-5-1, Blum 0-0-0-0, turk 1-0-0-2, Strandberg 1-1-1-3, Creal 0-0-0-0, Wyman 1-0-2-2, Totals 13-10-19-38

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