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Warren boys start playoffs tonight

File photo by Mark Evans Senior Tommy Nyquist and the Warren boys basketball team will open the District 10 4A playoffs at 7:30 p.m. tonight against Corry at Meadville Area Senior High School.

Warren’s boys basketball team will meet Corry tonight for the third time this season — this time in the first round of the District 10 4A playoffs at 7:30 p.m. at Meadville Area Senior High School.

The Dragons (17-5) are the third seed in the eight-team bracket, beginning with a team it just beat on Friday by 41 points.

This year’s playoffs feel a bit different in that three teams from Class 4A will advance to the PIAA Championship Tournament beginning March 8. That doesn’t mean 23-year Warren head coach Jeff Berdine is looking beyond tonight’s game.

“We need to come out focused and ready to give max effort, stay out of foul trouble, limit their easy buckets, and get stops in the half courts that lead us into our transition game,” he said. “One game at a time, but the first one is a huge step in the right direction.”

The playoffs are a different animal, so the Dragons head to Meadville knowing the game will be different than the one in which 13 Warren players played, 10 scored points, and Braylon Barnes and Brady Berdine scored 21 and 20 points, respectively, in the rout. In fact, seniors Barnes, Berdine, Tommy Nyquist, and Konnor Hoffman received a loud ovation as they left the Joseph A. Massa Gymnasium floor early in the fourth quarter of their final regular-season home game. They left time on the clock for the team’s other two seniors — Johnny Corbett and Dylan Johnson — to leave to applause later in the quarter.

File Photo by Mark Evans Warren head coach Jeff Berdine will look to lead the Dragons past Corry in today’s District 10 4A playoff game at 7:30 p.m. at Meadville Area Senior High School.

Berdine has averaged 16.6 points per game thus far in his senior season, Barnes 15 points, Nyquist 10.1, sophomore Logan Crissey 9, Hoffman 8, junior Chase Sitler 6, and Corbett also sees important minutes.

“We’ve played seven guys most of the year,” said coach Berdine, “so I’m very confident in Chase, Logan, and Johnny’s abilities to step in and give us the same quality minutes they have all year.

“Four of these guys played a lot of minutes in last year’s playoffs,” said the coach. “They know what it will take to get us past the first round and continue moving us towards our goals.”

Corry (13-9) isn’t stepping aside, despite losing four of five games to end the regular season. Senior Rylan Smith has been contained over two Warren wins, but he recently surpassed 1,000 career points. Corry’s leading scorer last Friday, sophomore Kamdyn Moon with four 3-pointers and 16 points, already has 71 career 3-pointers made, which is six off of Corry’s school record.

No. 2 Grove City (13-9) plays No. 7 Harbor Creek (10-12) in the game prior to Warren’s — at 6 p.m. at Meadville’s “House of Thrills.” Tickets may be purchased ahead of time on the Hometown app (https://www.hometownticketing.com/resources/hometown-fan-app/)

On the other side of the bracket in the quarterfinals, No. 1 Sharon (19-3) hosts No. 8 General McLane (10-11) at 6 p.m. Thursday at Farrell High School. No. 4 Slippery Rock (14-8) and No. 5 Hickory (15-7) will follow there at 7:30 p.m.

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