Third time a charm for Dragons in win over Fairview
FAIRVIEW–Warren is not the same basketball team it was at the beginning of the season.
That much is clear after the Dragons dismantled host Fairview, 46-40, Friday in the District 10 4A playoff quarterfinals.
“I think they grew up some tonight,” said Warren coach Jeff Berdine, whose Dragons are 17-5 and winners of 11 of their last 12.
But the playoffs are different. Very, apparently.
Warren dropped to 0-2 after a 54-31 loss Jan. 12 to Fairview at home, and lost at Fairview, 62-31, a month later.
The Dragons then won nine straight.
“Even when I wasn’t there, we started playing well,” said senior Payton Barnes, who played just 10 games in the regular season due to a shoulder injury.
“Payton coming back was a huge lift to us,” said Berdine. “Remember, Ben (Berdine) and Payton started every game last year but Senior Night.”
It took a little time for freshman point guard Tommy Nyquist, sophomore Parks Ordiway, and junior J.T. Blum to mesh with the returning starters.
“And Bryce (Blair) and Alex (Borger) and Kody (Vega) have been big off the bench,” said Berdine.
But the Dragons lost by 23 and 31 to a talented team that features a starting lineup taller at every position.
“I thought we came in with some confidence,” said Coach Berdine. “We knew earlier in the season we had not played them well.”
Warren didn’t have the senior Barnes the second loss.
Berdine said, with him and with a season of experience for his young guards, they could do things they couldn’t before.
“We threw a couple things in that we did not have before,” said Coach Berdine, adding he only wished they had knocked down a few more free throws in the fourth quarter.
Warren jumped out to a 10-4 lead when Barnes hit a 3-pointer at 2:53, and led 10-6 after one quarter.
Barnes scored all 9 of his points in the first half. Ordiway’s steal up to Blum and on to Barnes for a layup late in the half gave the Dragons a 20-13 lead. Warren led 21-15 at the half.
The third quarter was gut-check time as Fairview battled back to tie the score two different times. Ordiway scored Warren’s last seven points of the quarter, including a 3-pointer to give Warren a 32-27 lead.
Then the young guns took over the fourth. Nyquist stole the ball and passed up to Ordiway, who fed Berdine for a layup. After a James Sitter trey for the Tigers, Blair had a key offensive rebound and pass to Ordiway for his fourth 3-pointer. Ordiway hit another bucket with 4:50 left for a 39-30 lead.
Warren built a 10-point lead at 42-32 when Fairview started to fight back. Hardy Murphy’s 3-pointer made it 42-37, and Jeremy Frazao hit another to cut the lead to 42-40.
After Warren went 1-of-4 from the line to open the quarter, Berdine sank two free throws to up the lead to 44-40 with under a minute left. Nyquist sank two more with 37 seconds left to up the lead to six.
Fairview’s Murphy missed a 3-pointer at 1:10, Sitter with 39 seconds left, Logan Frazao with 10 seconds left, and Sitter missed a wild trey at the buzzer.
“Our goal all year has been to contest the jump shot,” Coach Berdine said.
When a Fairview inbounds went out of bounds with 22.8 seconds left, Tyler Schultz was forced to foul out on the inbounds.
“The playoffs is a whole different environment,” said Ben Berdine, who added 10 points and seven rebounds. Ordiway had 16 points and Nyquist added nine.
“Coming out after halftime, we were just riding that wave of energy,” said Ben Berdine.
The difference this time?
“We just wanted it more,” he said.
Warren next gets top-seeded Hickory at 7 p.m. Tuesday, at Hickory.
Ordiway 6 0-0 16, Berdine 3 4-8 10, Nyquist 2 3-6 9, Blum 1 0-2 2, Blair 0 0-0 0, Barnes 3 1-2 9. Totals 15 8-18 46.
L.Frazao 4 1-3 9, J.Frazao 2 0-0 5, Scott 0 0-0 0, Sitter 3 1-1 8, King 0 0-0 0, Schultz 6 1-2 13, Murphy 1 0-0 3, Franos 1 0-0 2. Totals 17 3-6 40.
3-pointers: W-Ordiway 4, Nyquist 2, Barnes 2; F-J.Frazao, Sitter, Murphy.
Warren 10 11 11 14 – 46
Fairview 6 9 12 13 – 40