BOYS HOOPS: Dragons earn big win

ERIE – Staring down the barrel of a third straight region loss, the Warren Dragons got an offensive surge when they needed it most.

After trailing most of the game, Warren tied the score on a three-pointer by sophomore Tanner Stanz and then pulled ahead for good on Stanz’s three-point play during a 49-47 victory over the Erie East Warriors Monday at Erie East High School.

“We got off to kind of a slow start and they put us on our heels early in the game,” said Warren coach Jeff Berdine. “We made a nice run to close the first half and that really helped set the tone and change the momentum for the second half.”

Coming off two straight region losses to Girard and General McLane, the Dragons failed to get off to a good start Monday. East hit a pair of early three-pointers and led 11-2 in the game’s opening minutes. Berdine’s Dragons were able to limit East’s opportunities the rest of the half and closed to within 31-26 by intermission.

While staying close, the Dragons were not able to take the lead until just 2:30 remained in the contest. With 2:30 to play, Stanz calmly knocked down a three-pointer to tie the game at 45-45. After a Matt Sandberg steal, Stanz was fouled while converting a layup that made it 47-45. Stanz’s free throw made it 48-45 with 1:50 left in the game.

Austin Jerman would make one of two free throws soon after to push the edge to four and an East putback with 30 seconds to go closed the gap to 49-47. Stanz was fouled with 27 seconds to play, but missed the front end of a one and one, setting up East’s last stand.

The Warriors took their shot at the buzzer, but the three-pointer went in and then out, giving the Dragons their seventh win of the season and evening their region mark at 2-2.

“It was another nervous finish,” said Berdine. “We lost a game down here not too many years ago in similar fashion so this win was nice. Holding them to six points in the fourth quarter was huge.”

Sandberg led all scorers with 15 points, Stanz added 10 points and Collin Fantaskey finished with nine. Jerman had six assists, Sandberg five steals and Mark Davis four blocks to go with his eight points.

The Dragons (7-3) will visit Strong Vincent on Friday in a game played at Mercyhurst College.

East won a tight junior varsity game, 45-42. Ryan Gustafson led Warren with 12 points.

Saegertown 92, Youngsville 51

Youngsville found itself in a double-digit hole during the first three minutes and was never able to recover during a 92-51 loss to Saegertown Monday at Youngsville High School.

The Panthers came out of the gates firing, starting the game on a 14-2 run by dominating down low and out rebounding the Eagles on both ends of the court.

Youngsville had chances to close the gap midway through the second quarter, but missed free throws wouldn’t allow it. The hosts trailed by 14 points at halftime.

Saegertown started the second half much like the first, going on a 9-1 run in the opening minutes to increase its lead to 22 points. The Panthers didn’t let up from there, increasing their lead at every opportunity.

Broc Horn led the Eagles with 20 points and Coll Dininny chipped in 12 points of his own.

“I’m proud of the kids,” said Youngsville boys coach Keith Martin. “They’re making improvements, but we still have a long road to go.”

The Eagles also fell in their junior varsity game, 56-22. Trevor Flinn led Youngsville with seven points while Joey Chuzie and Logan Morrison each added four points each.

Youngsville (2-9) will be back in action on Friday, visiting Cochranton.