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Hepinger’s 37 lifts Sheffield boys

Times Observer Photo by Cody Elms Sheffield’s Tony Richards pulls down a rebound Wednesday night in a hard fought 61-54 win over visiting Iroquois.

SHEFFIELD — The Wolverines put up just 15 points in the first half, only to drop 46 in the second, including 23 from the free throw line, to beat visiting Iroquois, 61-54.

“We had communication breakdowns,” said Sheffield head coach Jordan Copley. “Against teams in the future we got to get better at.”

Better Sheffield got, led by Tyler Hepinger’s 37 points, 16 rebounds, four steals, and three assists. Hepinger went 15 of 18 at the line, with a majority being in the waning minutes of the game.

“He really answered the call,” said Copley. “We knew we wanted to get the ball in his hands down the stretch. Anytime Tyler’s at the free throw line I’m comfortable. He did a great job tonight.”

The turning point in the game for the Wolverines came with five minutes to go in the fourth quarter when Hepinger had a rare missed free throw that was rebounded by Tony Richards who easily scored. The bucket gave the Wolverines their first four-point lead since the middle of the second quarter. Just minutes later, Hepinger –with a lane to drive to the hoop — dumped off to Richards on the baseline where Richards drilled Sheffield’s only 3-pointer of the night. With two minutes to go, the Wolverines were up 51-45. The Braves were never able to claw their way back as Sheffield’s free throw accuracy put the game away in the final minutes.

“He did what he had to do as a leader, said Copley of Hepinger. “Whether that meant — pass it, make his foul shots, get aggressive to the hoop and get the finishes — he all around did exactly what we needed him to do.”

Richards finished with 11 points and four rebounds.

SHEFFIELD (61)

Albaugh 0 1-2 1, McNeal 0 2-2 2, T. Richards 3 2-2 11, Hepinger 11 15-18 37, Finch 2 1-2 3, Copley 2 2-2 6, Johnson 0 1-2 1, Silvis 0 0-0 0, Mott-Macalush 0 0-0 0, Lauffenburger 0 0-0 0, Hardwick 0 0-0 0, A. Richards 0 0-0 0, Totals 18 24-30 61.

IROQUOIS (54)

Akol 4 2-2 10, Combest 8 6-6 22, Briss 0 0-0 6, Burkhardt 2 3-5 10, Santrago 2 2-2 6, Bush 0 0-0 0, Carr 0 0-0 0, Carpenter 0 0-0 0, Brown 0 0-0 0, Ellis 0 0-0 0, Belfrone 0 0-0 0, Lewis 0 0-0 0, Totals 16 13-15 54.

3-point goals — Sheffield, Richards; Iroquois, Brass (2), Burkhardt.

Sheffield 8 7 18 27 — 61

Iroquois 6 12 14 22 — 54

WARREN WINS AGAIN

WATTSBURG — Warren scored the first 9 points of the fourth quarter to pull away from Seneca, Wednesday, in a 49-39 non-region boys basketball victory.

Senior Payton Barnes, in his second game back from a shoulder injury, hit both free throws after a Seneca technical foul, then a 3-pointer, to up Warren’s lead to 45-33 early in the fourth quarter.

“Payton hit a big three after the technical foul for a five-point swing right there,” said Warren coach Jeff Berdine, whose Dragons earned wins on the road two straight nights and have won seven straight.

“It was a physical game. I thought, in the second half, we did a better job of not allowing their guards to get straight-line drives to the hoop,” said coach Berdine. “In the fourth quarter, we were able to limit their second-chance opportunities with a better effort on the defensive glass.”

Ben Berdine added 6 of his game-high 20 points in the 14-6 fourth quarter for Warren (13-4). He added six rebounds.

Barnes finished with 13 points, Parks Ordiway 7, and Tommy Nyquist 5 points and six assists.

Seneca had eight 3-pointers to hang in there, trailing 36-33 after three quarters.

WARREN (49)

Ordiway 3 0-0 7, Borger 0 0-0 0, Berdine 9 2-2 20, Nyquist 2 0-0 5, Blum 1 0-2 2, Vega 0 0-0 0, Blair 1 0-0 2, Barnes 5 2-2 13. Totals 21 4-6 49.

SENECA (39)

LRupp 2 0-0 6, Lorei 0 0-0 0, DeFazio 1 0-0 2, Shovey 1 0-0 2, Moffett 1 0-0 2, Kibbe 6 0-0 17, Trimble 0 0-0 0, Walker 2 0-2 4, V.Rupp 0 1-2 1, Yost 2 0-0 5. Totals 15 1-4 39.

3-pointers– Ordiway, Nyquist, Barnes, L.Rupp 2, Kibbe 5, Yost.

Warren 18 8 10 13 — 49

Seneca 17 7 9 6– 39

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