Prep girls basketball: Warren falls to Philo

VINCENT – For 16 minutes the Philo Lady Electrics watched the Warren Lady Warriors generate high quality scoring chances and capitalize with easy buckets and trips to the free throw line.

For 16 minutes, Warren junior Victoria Buzzard was a pail of water dousing sparks on the Philo defense with 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting.

But minutes 17 to 32 weren’t nearly the same.

After trailing most of the first half, the Lady Electrics held Warren to just one field goal in the third quarter and to just three points the first 12:25 of the second half as Philo pulled away for a 61-40 victory over the Lady Warriors in Vincent Wednesday night.

“I challenged our girls to come out and step up the pressure and they accepted the challenge,” said Philo girls’ basketball coach Dan Hilty.

Trailing all but roughly 2:30 of the first half, the Lady Electrics made key adjustments at halftime that short-circuited the Warren attack.

Buzzard, who led all scorers with 16 points, was just 1-of-6 from the field in the second half and Warren as a team was a dismal 3-for-19 from the field over the final 16 minutes. After committing just 10 turnovers in the first half, Warren lost its handle on the ball as the Lady Warriors had 13 turnovers in the pivotal third quarter alone and finished with 27 in the game.

“That’s a very good, athletic ball club,” said Warren girls’ basketball coach Amy Colgrove. “They were very aggressive on their pressure and we just didn’t handle it well.”

Philo capitalized on the Lady Warriors’ misfortunes by hitting on 7-of-14 shots in the third quarter while collecting 11 steals in the pivotal frame. Philo also made the most of its size advantage to collect eight rebounds in the third quarter and pressure the Warren guards into mistakes with the ball.

“We’re not to the point we like to play physical,” Colgrove said. “We can play physical. Sometimes we do play physical, but we don’t like to.”

The Lady Electrics hit the first two buckets of the second half to take the lead for good after a close first half that had Warren leading by a single point, 30-29, at the break.

Madisan Smith’s bucket right on the heels of Mallary Trout’s three-pointer to start the second half proved to be the knockout punch for the Lady Warriors, as Warren would get within two just once more the rest of the game. Following Smith’s basket, Warren freshman Katie Rauch scored the one and only field goal for the Lady Warriors in the third quarter as she collected Adrienne Lang’s pass and dropped in a short jumper to make the score 34-32.

Unfortunately for Warren, there wouldn’t be any more points added to the scoreboard until Kate Ryan hit 1-of-2 free throws with 3:35 left in regulation and another basket from the field didn’t take place until Buzzard’s midrange jumper with 2:48 to play.

“We just couldn’t get a couple stops (defensively) to stop that run,” Colgrove said.

By that point, the outcome was decided as Philo held a 19-point advantage, 52-33.

“I’m really proud of the way our girls responded,” Hilty said. “You lean on your leaders, and we leaned on Mallary (Trout) a lot.”

Trailing by 19, the Lady Warriors still couldn’t find their offensive life as the managed just five points after Buzzard’s field goal and just 10 total in the second half, a far different outcome than first half play that saw the Lady Warriors effectively control the game by using the paint.

“We played really well in the first half. We attacked them,” Colgrove said. “If we could’ve put two halves together we would’ve been alright.”

Instead of two solid halves, the Lady Warriors watched their strong first half disappear in the wake of Philo’s potent defense and crisp shooting down the stretch. Still, it didn’t overshadow the Lady Warriors’ accomplishments in the first half, Colgrove noted.

Warren opened the game strong, keeping pace with the much larger and more physical Lady Electrics as Buzzard caught fire in the first stanza. In the first quarter, the Warren sharpshooter had eight of the Lady Warriors’ 15 points and was effectively keeping the Philo defense guessing.

At the other end, Rauch was a thorn in the Philo guards’ side as she deflected passes and created scoring opportunities as she finished with six steals in the game.

Rauch’s back-to-back buckets with 4:21 in the second quarter spurred the Lady Warriors to a four-point advantage as Warren enjoyed a 10-2 run to overcome what had been a three-point Philo advantage.

In the end, the run wasn’t enough as Hayley Howard’s deuce as time expired in the half brought the Lady Electrics within one. And then, the dominant run started in the third quarter as Philo picked up with 12th win of the season.

“We have a lot of respect for Warren Local and the tradition they have for girls’ basketball. Getting a win is a good feeling,” Hilty said.