Dragons hold off Oil City, even record at 2-2
The Dragons had to step up big, and they did.
Without senior teammate Payton Barnes, who left in the first quarter with an injured shoulder, Warren held off Oil City, 54-43, in a region game Tuesday at Warren Area High School.
Barnes had a quick 3-pointer and another bucket to tie the score at 7-7 before appearing to injure his shoulder hustling out of bounds for a loose ball.
“Those are tough minutes to replace, and the kids look to him to provide leadership,” Warren coach Jeff Berdine said of Barnes, a recent D3 Pitt-Brad basketball commit and a cog in the Dragons’ starting lineup since last season. “A lot of what we do goes through Ben (Berdine) and Payton, so we’re going to have to figure things out.”
Freshman point guard Tommy Nyquist, sophomore guard Parks Ordiway, and juniors JT Blum and Bryce Blair are playing in their fourth varsity game for the 2-2 Dragons.
“Getting these minutes in a close game like this … I was impressed with how they played,” said coach Berdine.
Nyquist, Alex Borger, and Ordiway hit 3-pointers to finish the first quarter on a 9-2 Warren run.
Then Ben Berdine took over; he had 12 of his game-high 20 points in the second quarter and the Dragons led 31-19 at halftime. He hit two 3s to start the quarter but had to play big-boy ball against the physical Oilers the rest of the way.
“This is their first game out,” said coach Berdine of the Oilers. “They’ve been hit hard there (COVID restrictions), and I thought we had more legs than they did.”
Berdine scored six of Warren’s 10 third-quarter points. His layup to start the fourth was the second straight feed from Nyquist, who finished with six assists.
Warren won the free-throw battle down the stretch with Nyquist 4 of 4 from the line to add to a 3-pointer in the fourth.
Warren was big from 3-point land with eight _ two each from Nyquist, Berdine, and Ordiway. And big on the boards with Berdine grabbing 16, and Nyquist four. Blum also had six assists.
Coach Berdine has said for years that Warren has to win its region games at home, and the Dragons improve to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in Region 5 with the victory.
Justice Greene and Justin Rich had 11 points each and Kody Vega and Owen Becker seven each in Warren’s 55-29 junior varsity win earlier Tuesday.
OIL CITY (43)
Aeschbacher 3 3-8 9, Hornbeck 2 0-1 5, Stahl 2 1-4 5, Cole 0 0-0 0, R.VanWormer 2 3-4 9, C.VanWormer 4 0-0 9, Stack 0 0-0 0, Johnson 3 0-0 6. Totals 16 7-17 43.
Ordiway 4 2-3 12, Borger 1 0-0 3, Berdine 9 0-0 20, Nyquist 2 4-4 10, Blum 0 2-5 2, Vega 0 0-0 0, Blair 1 0-0 2, Barnes 2 0-0 5, Darling 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 8-12 54.
3-point goals–Hornbeck, RVanWormer 2, CVanWormer, Ordiway 2, Borger, Berdine 2, Nyquist 2, Barnes.
Oil City 9 10 12 12 — 43
Warren 16 15 10 13 — 54
Jayvees: Warren 55, Oil City 29