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Taking charge

Second-half run sends Warren girls past McDowell, 42-34

Times Observer photos by Jon Sitler Warren’s Emma Ruhlman, top, celebrates the charge taken by teammate Kelsey Stuart, bottom, in the fourth quarter of the Dragons’ 42-34 win over McDowell on Thursday at Warren Area High School.

Talk about finishing strong early.

Warren went on a 15-0 run to end the third quarter and start the fourth on Thursday in a 42-34 comeback Region 7 home basketball win over McDowell.

“It was a big test,” said Warren coach Lisa LaVan, whose Dragons are 3-0 overall and win their region opener. “I was a little worried because our shots weren’t falling early and we weren’t able to get Emma (Ruhlman) any good open looks. However, I also know this team really grinds.”

McDowell led just 8-2 after a first quarter that had both a lot of hustle and missed shots. McDowell 6-foot Division 1 recruit (Siena College) Emina Selimovic had 6 of those 8 with strong inside play.

Emma Ruhlman’s 3-pointer at 3:52 left in the first half were her first points and cut the McDowell lead to 12-7.

Warren finished the first half strong with a Ruhlman steal and breakaway layup and another bucket, and Riley Childress had a driving layup at the first-half buzzer to cut the lead to 17-13.

McDowell again built the lead to five points in the third, but strong defense and grinding away kept Warren in it. Ruhlman had 7 points in the quarter and Childress again scored with seconds remaining to cut the lead to 26-24 McDowell.

It was the start of something big.

Warren’s defense was phenomenal, especially Ruhlman on Selimovic, holding her to 2 points over the second and third quarters.

At halftime, LaVan told the Dragons to stop thinking about the plays and “just play,” she said.

Ruhlman hit a 3-pointer for Warren’s first lead of the game, 27-26, to start the fourth. Then Childress hit two consecutive treys around a McDowell timeout.

The defense was tightening up, as Warren’s Kelsey Stuart took a big offensive charge from Selimovic, and then scored on the other end for a 35-26 lead. Ruhlman stole the ball for another layup before the Trojans knew what hit them.

After a couple big shots, McDowell resorted to sending Warren to the line. The Dragons missed the front end of 1-and-1s three times before Childress went to the line. She gave coach LaVan a grin before swishing two. Ruhlman went 3-of-4 down the stretch for a 42-34 comeback win.

Ruhlman finished with 22 points and eight rebounds. Childress had 12 points and five assists for Warren.

“Kelsey gave us some good minutes, and Carly (Beers), Sammy (Ruhlman), and Halle (Kuzminski) did a nice job coming off the bench,” LaVan said.

Childress (on the point guard, Hetz) and Teagan Paris were strong on defense.

Warren travels to DuBois Saturday and is at Villa Maria for another tough region contest on Monday.

Paris Sivak had 6 points for Warren in a 57-12 junior varsity loss Thursday.

McDOWELL (34)

Selimovic 6 0-2 13, Marsh 0 0-0 0, Feronti 0 0-0 0, Gebhardt 3 0-0 6, Young 0 0-0 0, Hetz 2 2-2 7, Paul 0 0-0 0, Ferber 0 0-0 0, Hall 2 0-0 6, Nelson 1 0-2 2. Totals 14 2-6 34.

WARREN (42)

S.Ruhlman 0 0-0 0, Kuzminski 0 0-0 0, C.Beers 0 0-0 0, Childress 4 2-3 12, Stuart 1 0-0 2, E.Ruhlman 8 3-5 22, Paris 1 1-4 3, G.Ruhlman 1 1-2 3. Totals 15 7-14 42.

3-pointers: M-Selimovic 1, Hetz 1, Hall 2; W-Childress 2, E.Ruhlman 3.

McDowell 8 9 9 8 –34

Warren 2 11 11 18 — 42

Junior varsity: McDowell 57, Warren 12.

KNIGHTS FALL ON ROAD

DUBOIS — Tied 10-all after the first quarter, DuBois Central Catholic outscored Eisenhower 17-2 in the second quarter on its way to a 45-30 victory.

Paris Forles led the way for the winners with 14 points and Jesse Frank chipped in 8.

Bella Marino had fine all-around game for the Knights, finishing with 14 points, four rebounds, three steals, two assists and two blocks; and Delaney Chase chipped with 9 points and seven boards

Eisenhower returns to action Monday when it entertains Cambridge Springs.

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