Warren girls basketball earns comeback victory over Alexander

Photo by Ron Johnston Warren’s Molly McCutcheon (34) handles the ball as Alexander’s Leah Richardson defends during a high school girls basketball game Monday in Vincent.

VINCENT — Warren High had an off-shooting night, but its defense was solid.

The Warriors limited visiting Alexander High to 14 second-half points en route to a 47-39 come-from-behind win Monday night.

“It’s a great win for us,” said WHS girls basketball coach Amy Colgrove. “It’s a great start to the season so far, and I like the way they fought back. It wasn’t pretty, and we weren’t hitting shots, but the girls never gave up. Everyone gave us great minutes, and everyone stepped up.”

Kate Liston and Katie Rauch each had 11 points to pace Warren, which improved its record to 2-0 on the season. Emily Jackson added 10 markers, while Molly McCutcheon and Peyton Bowe chipped in with seven and six, respectively.

Alexander was led by Jala Mace’s game-high 16 points. Leah Richardson netted 14. The Lady Spartans only had four players score in the contest.

“It was a very, very good basketball team that we played against,” Colgrove said. “You don’t want to let them stand out there and shoot. They’re probably one of the best shooting teams we’ll play against or have seen.”

It was a three or nothing as Alexander staked itself to a 12-7 first-quarter advantage. Richardson had two triples while Mace an Kena Rice had one apiece.

Warren struggled offensively in the opening period, making just three of 13 shot attempts.

“Things weren’t going our way,” Colgrove said. “We couldn’t get any shots to fall.”

Liston agreed and added, “It was a little bit of a slow start. But they’re a really good team. We knew it was going to be a battle out there.”

Said Rauch, “We’ve been working hard to try to start better. I don’t know, but I think we were still tired from Saturday’s game (vs. Circleville). We didn’t have much time to recover.”

In the second quarter, the Lady Spartans stretched their lead to double digits, 23-12, at the 2:50 mark on Mace’s trey. But the Lady Warriors came back and cut it to six on Bowe’s drive and score, and Liston’s bucket and bonus freebie.

At halftime, WHS trailed 25-17.

In the third quarter, the Lady Warriors put the clamps on Alexander and looked more for the high percentage shot on offense.

“We started attacking the basket there in the second half,” Colgrove said. “And, Kate (Liston) did a fantastic job on their shooter (Rachel Richardson). She kept her in check, and knocked down some key shots.

“Peyton Bowe played amazing on number two (Mace).”

Rauch hit her third 3-pointer of the game, and Jackson also knocked down a triple in the stanza. Defensively, Warren cut it to one (33-32) after being down 10 (31-21) with 2:54 left in the period.

Early in the fourth quarter, Liston’s two freebies gave the Lady Warriors their first lead of the game, 34-33. Rauch also made a pair, and Jackson finished a drive to make it 38-33.

“Jackson’s drive there at the end came at a crucial point in the game,” Colgrove said.

With about three minutes left, Leah Richardson cut it to one, 38-37, with a bucket.

But after Bowe scored and Liston converted a couple from the line with under a minute to play, the Lady Warriors were in control.

“We all did our jobs and it was a great team win,” Liston said. “Our team does a real good job of helping getting everyone open and making shots possible for everyone else.”

Added Rauch, “We don’t like to lose, and we gave it our full. When we want to do something, we put our mind to it.”