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Dragons advance

Warren tops Grove City in Class 4A semifinal

Warren point guard Tommy Nyquist passes through three Grove City defenders on Tuesday in the Dragons’ 59-46 District 10 4A semifinal playoff win at General McLane High School. Photo by Mark Evans

EDINBORO — Warren’s boys basketball team jumped out to a 20-8 first-quarter lead and held off a late Grove City charge for a 59-46 win in the District 10 4A semifinals Tuesday at General McLane High School.

“I think the key for us tonight was defense,” said Warren coach Jeff Berdine. “We needed to be good on their two best players. … We felt if we did a good job on them and gave Tommy (Nyquist) and Logan (Crissey) some help, we would be in a position to win this game at the end.”

Nathan Greer led Grove City (14-10) in scoring with 17 points. Brett Loughery — averaging 18 points — was held to two field goals and 7 points, primarily by Nyquist.

“It was a quick start in the first quarter, which helped us get some flow on offense,” said Coach Berdine. “They are a good team, super scrappy and very well-coached, so I knew it was going to come down to us making plays in the fourth quarter, and we did that.”

Brady Berdine scored 6 first-quarter points, Braylon Barnes and Konnor Hoffman 5 each, and Crissey 4 as Warren built a 12-point lead.

Warren’s Brady Berdine drives for two of his game-high 28 points on Tuesday in the Dragons’ 59-46 District 10 4A semifinal playoff win over Grove City at General McLane High School. Photo by Mark Evans

The Dragons were 6 for 6 at the free-throw line in the second quarter to hold the 12-point lead at halftime. Grove City’s buzzer-beating layup was waived off at the end of the half.

That non-bucket would matter as the Eagles would pull to within six points at the end of three quarters and to within two points midway through the fourth quarter.

Brady Berdine scored 8 of Warren’s 12 points in the third quarter and 10 of the Dragons’ 16 fourth-quarter points. His 3-pointer put Warren back up by five, 49-44.

After Greer cut the lead back to three points, Braylon Barnes had a layup and Berdine two free throws for a nine-point lead. Another Barnes driving layup off a steal seemingly put the game away.

“I think the free-throw line was also huge for us tonight as we went 15 for 17,” said Coach Berdine.

Brady Berdine finished with a game-high 28 points, including 18 in the second half. Barnes finished with 11, Nyquist 6, and Konnor Hoffman and Chase Sitler 5 apiece.

Warren advances to its first District 10 championship game in over 10 years on Friday against Hickory — a 48-43 victor on Tuesday over top-seeded Sharon — at a site and time to be determined. Hickory has eliminated the Dragons from the playoffs four straight seasons. With the win on Tuesday, Warren is already one of three automatic PIAA 4A qualifiers.

WARREN (59)

Corbett 0, Sitler 1 2 5, Berdine 9 7 28, Crissey 2 0 4, Nyquist 1 4 6, Barnes 4 2 11, Hoffman 2 0 5. Totals 19 15-17 59.

GROVE CITY (46)

Kurz 0, Irani 3 0 7, Greer 6 5 17, Gubba 2 0 4, Lutz 4 0 9, Loughery 2 2 7, Fischer 1 0 2, Martin 0. Totals 18 7-13 46.

3-point goals–Sitler, Berdine 3, Barnes, Hoffman, Irani, Lutz, Loughery.

Warren 20 11 12 16 — 59

Grove City 8 11 18 9 — 46

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