GIRLS HOOPS: Final tuneup: Lady Dragons end regular season with loss, D-10 playoff opener with Hickory up next
This was not the way Warren envisioned Senior Night – or its last game before the District 10 Class AAA playoffs – playing out.
The Lady Dragons lost their third straight game on Monday, falling to the visiting Bradford Owls, 52-35, at Warren Area High School. After losing just four times in its first 19 games, the Dragons have stumbled lately, dropping games to Villa Maria, Harbor Creek and Bradford.
Warren controlled the tempo early and jumped out to a quick lead. However, a Bradford run at the end of the first quarter cut the Dragons’ lead to just three points as the second quarter began.
The Owls went on to score the first six points of the second period to take a 14-11 lead and they would never trail again. Warren struggled to finish underneath the basket and continually forced passes that Bradford intercepted.
After going up by seven at halftime, the Owls busted the game wide open in the third quarter, holding the Dragons to just four points. Warren could never put together any type of run in the second half and Bradford pushed its lead to as many as 20 points.
“It’s not the best way to send off the seniors,” said Warren coach Lisa Ruhlman. “But it doesn’t take away from what Jaimie (Eaton) and Taylor (Mineweaser) have accomplished. It was an emotional locker room after the game. I’m very proud of those two girls.”
Eaton was the leading scorer for the Dragons, finishing with 14 points to go along with four assists. Paige Wilson added six points and seven rebounds.
Warren’s junior varsity team won in thrilling fashion, 36-34. Amy Castagnino hit a pair of free throws with 6.4 seconds remaining to ice the game. Lizzy Marsh and McKenzie Merenick led the winners with nine points each.
Warren (15-7) must end its three-game losing streak on Saturday or see its season come to a close. The Dragons open the Class AAA playoffs with Hickory (19-3) at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Kennedy Catholic High School.