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  My Site News: Rush Springs, Part Two – Warriors Romp, 72-44  

Friday, February 15
Rush Springs, Part Two – Warriors Romp, 72-44
The Warriors faced the Rush Springs Redskins in District Playoff action Friday night, exactly one week removed from their previous meeting. In last week’s game, the Warriors rolled, 68-33, despite the starters not touching the floor the whole fourth quarter.

This one was not much different – despite all the talk by the Redskins coach.

Both teams were a little tight in the beginning, and WHS missed several close-in shots. So, the score was only 2-0, WHS, at the 5:30 mark. Immediately after that, Senior point guard Nathan Price drove to the basket, made the shot, and was awarded a free throw, which he subsequently sank. At the 4:22 mark, it was 9-1 WHS. The Redskins were really struggling to score, and the Warriors were in command of the game. At the 1:30 mark, WHS was up, 11-3, but Price had picked up his second personal foul. A few seconds later, Price collected his third foul and had to sit until 4:55 remained in the half. Senior forward Dustin Nichols nailed a 3-pointer from the left corner, and after one period the Warriors were leading, 14-5 (despite missing several layups and easy shots).

The second quarter saw a little life by the Redskins. Both teams again struggled to score and the Redskins scored the first points of the quarter at the 6:17 mark. Rush Springs made their only 3-pointer of the half when a player accidentally BANKED one in. Oh, well – you take what you’re given. Rush Springs wins the quarter, 15-11, so the halftime score is WHS, 25-20.

At halftime, the Warriors were 10 of 23 (43.5%) from the field, including 1 of 5 from 3-point range. They had connected on 4 of 7 (57.1%) free throws, turned the ball over only 4 times, and been whistled for 9 fouls. Price and Sophomore guard Jeff Brewer both were saddled with 3 fouls each. Senior center Zach Simmons was the leading scorer with 11 points, and rebounder with 7. Rush Springs was 1 of 5 (20%) from 3-point range (remember the BANK shot), had attempted 8 free throws, had committed 6 fouls, and had gathered 5 offensive rebounds.

The third quarter was opened with a 3-pointer by Senior guard Rob Young, and the Warriors were off and running. The first 4 minutes saw the home team make a 12-2 run, and push the score to 37-22. A few seconds later, the only Redskin with any size (6-5, 265) picked up his fourth foul and had to sit. That gave the Warriors a HUGE advantage inside. They wisely started pounding the ball in to Simmons and Senior forward Tyler Ketner, and at the 3:53 mark, the lead was pushed to 20 for the first time, 42-22. At the 1:45 mark, the second 3-pointer of the game was made by the visitors – this one a clean swish. The quarter ends with the Warriors up, 52-30, as they outscored Rush Springs 27-10 in the period.

The fourth saw a few free throws by Rush Springs, but they couldn’t cut into the Warrior lead. At the 5:20 mark, it was WHS 58-36. A minute later, the Redskin coach raised the white flag and started clearing his bench.

I didn’t hear what he had to say then. He was suddenly being very quiet.

The largest lead of the night was 72-41 with a minute remaining, and the final was 72-44. All 14 players in uniform saw action. The highlight of the last minute was a 3-pointer made by a Redskin reserve to take them to 3 for 12 for the game – and knock the Warrior lead below 30.

Zach Simmons had a great night with 28 points, on 9 of 15 from the field, and 10 of 12 from the free throw line. He also had a game-high 15 rebounds, and a game-high 6 blocked shots. Next in scoring was Dustin Nichols with 10 points, and he also had 2 rebounds, 2 steals, and a blocked shot. Tyler Ketner was next with 10 points, and he added 6 rebounds and a blocked shot.

Nathan Price had 7 points, 2 steals, 5 rebounds, and a game-high 8 assists – a couple that were really spectacular efforts.   Jeff Brewer and Rob Young (on a 100% shooting night) had 5 points each. The scoring was closed out with Sophomore guard Monty Marcum with 4 points, Junior forward Web Feuerborne with 3 points, and Sophomore guard Chase Barnes with 1 point.

For the game, the Warriors shot 26 out of 52 (50%), including 3 of 13 (23.1%) from 3-point range. They connected on 17 out of 28 (60.7%) free throws, and committed 19 fouls, but only 7 turnovers. They handed out 14 assists, made 12 steals, grabbed 37 rebounds (14 offensive), and blocked 8 shots.

The Redskins finished 3 for 12 (25%) from 3-point range, along with attempting 19 free throws. They had 7 offensive rebounds and committed 20 fouls.

Bottom line: the Warriors don’t play exceptionally well, but didn’t need to. The seven turnovers was excellent, but the starting guards got in foul trouble early keeping up with the quick Rush Springs ball handlers. Simmons dominated inside, and a VERY good thing was the team’s obvious effort to get him some shots, since he only had FIVE attempts in Tuesday’s game at Lexington. The Warriors have to get him the ball, because he is the horse they will have to ride if they want to get to the big dance in March.

Next up is Regional Playoff action at home on Thursday, February 21st, at 8:00 p.m. Win or lose, it will be the VERY LAST time the Warriors play at home this season. The opponent is still unknown at this time, but will be the winner of the Cordell – Apache game.

(For complete statistics, go to HANDOUTS on left column, and click on this game’s link.)

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