Abbie Smith,Warren girls contain Linsly, 52-44

Warriors won their 17th straight game

Photo by Josh Hughes Warren’s Sommer Saboley (20) drives while Linsly’s Brinley Steen (53) defends during a high school girls basketball game in Vincent Monday night.

VINCENT — Abbie Smith’s 19-point, six rebound night helped lift the Warren Warriors past visiting Linsly in a 52-44 win on Monday night. Smith’s output was part of an effort to force the ball inside after Warren (18-1) had trouble executing in the early going against its visitors from Wheeling.

Linsly actually had an 11-10 lead after the first eight minutes expired, but the Warriors were already working on storming ahead. A 10-5 finish to that first frame put the No. 6 Warriors in striking distance, as they took control soon after the run began.

Smith started her warpath on the Cadets with an and-1 basket early in the quarter, and she was joined in a full second-quarter effort by Emme Bowe, Millie Ryan, Sommer Saboley, and Caspen Ford. The first half was capped by Saboley splashing in a buzzer-beating triple to give Warren a 29-19 lead at the break.

After Savannah Banks found Smith inside against Linsly’s Carleigh Grimm for another lay-in, the Cadets finally got going and made a short-lived rally to momentarily get back in the game.

A 12-0 surge finished off by a Grimm basket tied the game at 31 with three minutes left in the third, but the Warriors clamped down and put the game away with a final knockout blow. Ford ended her team’s five-minute scoring drought at 2:47 to reclaim the lead, then they ended the quarter on another high note.

Saboley continued to be a spark plug for the offense, as she cashed in on a steal in the backcourt with a layup to continue the affair. A shot from the elbow from Smith and two made free throws from Ford grew the lead out to 39-31. Then, Saboley came back with a 3-ball to get Warren back up to a more comfortable double-digit lead with less than a minute left in the quarter.

A Molly Grayson three-pointer proved to be a back-breaker for the Cadets with 7:50 to go, as they stared at a 45-31 deficit. From there, a pair of Olivia Alloway swishes were enough to distance the Warriors from a hard-charging Linsly effort in the closing minutes of the victory. For head coach Amy Colgrove, her Warriors grinded out a win, and she credits her team’s physical play in getting the job done.

“I think we picked up the intensity a little bit. I think we were complacent on offense and defense in the first half. Then, we hit a few shots,” she said. “Sommer came in and did a good job. We did a good job going after the ball and changing the pace to be more up-tempo. We did force it into (Smith) a bit, and they were double-teaming her in the second half, but she did a good job of hitting the offensive glass and getting some putbacks.”

The wins keep coming for Colgrove’s crew, as the Warriors now have a 17-game winning streak on their hands. This game was the first of their final four games of the regular season, and they will enjoy a homecourt advantage throughout their next three contests, as well. Next up, the Eastern Eagles show up to play at 2 p.m. on Saturday with Warrior momentum riding high.

Contact Josh Hughes at jhughes@newsandsentinel.com