WARSAW – Back-to-back games could not produce back-to-back wins for the Warsaw Tigers basketball team.
Just one day after earning a nice conference win over a rival Goshen team the Tigers welcomed Fort Wayne Snider to the Tiger Den for the first time ever Saturday night.
Despite the enthusiastic and intimidating crowd, Snider had no problem outplaying and out-toughing the Tigers on their home floor for a 49-44 victory.
“I’m extremely disappointed with how we played from the beginning,” stated Warsaw head coach Doug Ogle after seeing his team fall to 9-4. “We were impatient on offense, we shot 21 threes which is a recipe for us to lose to anyone. We were hardly getting any offensive rebounds. We did not compete physically and we had way too many turnovers. It was just two steps backwards for us tonight.”
The Tiger offense struggled early on, scoring just six points in the first quarter to Snider’s 12. The Warsaw production picked up a little in the second quarter but the Panthers still held an advantage at the half, 25-14. The first half struggles for the Tigers can easily be linked to the issues Ogle pointed to in his opening statement.
Warsaw turned the ball over nine times in the first half and lost the battle on the boards 14-9. In addition, the Tigers shot and unusually high nine three-pointers in the first half, hitting just once on those attempts.
After lighting a fire under his team at halftime, Ogle saw his team take the floor with more physicality and determination in the third quarter. Warsaw was able to close the gap in the third quarter and found itself with the ball, down just 31-30. The Tigers turned the ball over on that possession but were given a break when Snider missed a shot under the rim. On the ensuing Tiger possession, Warsaw turned it over yet again in almost identical fashion.
From the point on the Tigers kept the game close but never seemed to catch the break they needed to get ahead of the physical Snider squad.
Warsaw would end up winning the turnover battle, having just 12 to Snider’s 14. But Snider turned Warsaw 12 turnovers into 16 points. The Tigers scored only seven off of the Panthers 14 giveaways. Snider would win the rebound battle 28-21.
Leading Snider in scoring on the night was Trey’von Covington with 18 points. Devlyn Williams added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Panthers.
Tim Swanson led the Tigers in scoring with 13 points. Jordan Stookey had 12 and Rashaan Jackson added another 11 for Warsaw.
The loss to Snider ends a stretch of four games in eight days for Warsaw in which the Tigers went 2-2 with wins over Elkhart Central and Goshen. Now the Tigers will get a much needed break before taking on a Concord team that will be looking for revenge from last year’s sectional game in which Warsaw won 41-39 in three overtimes. Ogle is welcoming the break and more practice time with his team.
“I would have liked to have had some more practice time over these past few games,” said Ogle. “I think were a little tired, physically and mentally. We are at Concord and the is a tough place to play, at McCuen. I think they are getting Adam Glanders back for that game next week and they are just playing a lot better recently. We are looking forward to having four days of practice and just one game.”
Warsaw and Concord tip off McCuen Gym at 7:45 p.m. on Friday night.
Warsaw won the junior varsity game 49-27. Kyle Mangas led the Tigers with 14 points.