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Dragons beat Ridgway for fourth-straight win

Tom Bablak scored 21 points for Warren on Friday at Fort LeBoeuf.

Warren went on a 13-0 run to start the second half and went 12-16 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter to come away with a 43-35 win over visiting Ridgway Thursday.

It was the fourth straight win for the Dragons who had to find a way to break the grinding pace of one of District 9’s top teams.

“The second half was a repeat of Oil City,” Warren coach Jeff Berdine said. “We were down, but came out with confidence, got the lead and took care of the ball. We’ve done a good job of that the last two games.”

Ridgway (7-3) led by a point at the half, 19-18. Thomas Bablak and Ben Berdine got layups on consecutive possessions to start the third quarter and, after a defensive stop, Mitch Grosch buried a 3-pointer to turn the deficit into a 6-point advantage. Ben Berdine then scored the next six points for Warren (6-4) to stretch the lead to 31-19.

Ridgway’s Zack Zameroski converted a 3-point play with 1:19 to go in the quarter. It would be the Elkers’ only points in the frame.

“That was huge,” coach Berdine said. “I’ve been on the other end of that and it just sucks the life right out of you. The first two or three minutes of the third was big. We got the momentum and the lead.”

Ridgway tried to cut into the lead in the fourth, but Warren turned the tables and moved to a slower pace offensively, much like the Elkers prefer.

“We’re definitely to the point now where we can do that,” coach Berdine said. “We did a good job of controlling the tempo.”

The Elkers trimmed the deficit to six, 34-28, with just under three minutes to go, but the Dragons went 9-10 from the line the rest of the way and limited Ridgway’s possessions to secure the win.

“I’m very pleased,” coach Berdine said. “We were 12-16 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter and we’re much better defensively.”

Matt Dish led the Elkers with 14 points, while Zameroski added 13 in the loss.

Payton Barnes had 12 points, including Warren’s first eight points of the game, to lead the Dragons. Ben Berdine had 11 points, three rebounds and two assists, Bablak had 10 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals. Grosch finished with five points and two assists and Ryan Rafalski had five points, all from the free throw line, and a pair of steals.

Warren travels to DuBois Saturday as part of a non-region, boys/girls double-header.

——

Ridgway (35)

Dish 4-5-7-14, Allegretto 1-0-0-2, Bon 2-0-1-4, Zameroski 4-3-3-13, Park 0-2-2-2, Miller 0-0-0-0, Total 11-10-13-35

Warren (43)

Rafalski 0-5-6-5, Berdine 4-3-6-11, Bablak 3-3-4-10, Grosch 1-2-2-5, Barnes 3-4-4-12, Arnold 0-0-0-0, Gustafson 0-0-0-0, Swanson 0-0-0-0, Vazquez 0-0-0-0, Total 11-17-22-43

By Quarters

Ridgway 8 11 3 13 – 35

Warren 9 9 13 12 – 43

3-point FGs: Ridgway (3)-Zameroski 2, Dish. Warren (4)-Barnes 2, Grosch, Bablak.

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