WARSAW – “We were bigger, stronger, better.”
There wasn’t much mincing of words from Warsaw boys basketball head coach Doug Ogle Tuesday night. The assertion in his voice, as humble and respectful as he normally is, couldn’t twist a 65-32 victory by his Tigers over Triton at the Tiger Den.
“We wanted to get it inside against their zone, and we didn’t shoot real well from distance (6-19),” Ogle said of Warsaw’s ability to work inside against an outsized Triton interior. “It’s true. When we are able to get post touches for (Kyle) Mangas and (Paul) Marandet, usually something good is going to happen.”
Mangas starred once again with 22 points, and wasn’t cherry picking. The junior guard scored 11 points in the first quarter, using variety to get there. A steal and flush, an and-one along with a three-pointer had Mangas rolling early.
Another steal and conversion by Mangas, followed by a steal and bucket by Marandet had Warsaw in command at 26-11. The train was rolling down the tracks for Warsaw, which had no trouble winning its ninth game in the last 10 of the series. Mangas also finished with five rebounds, five steals and a pair of assists.
Warsaw would score 25 points off of 15 Triton turnovers and put back 14 second chance points. The Tigers themselves committed just six turnovers on the night, a theme that has allowed Warsaw to an 8-0 start to begin the season.
“Paul continues to play well, 12 points, six assists, one turnover. His assist to turnover this season is ridiculous,” Ogle said. “Thirty seven assists to eight turnovers in eight games. That’s pretty good.”
Evan Schmidt added nine points, Jacob Burish had five points – four of which came in the waning moments of the first half that helped the Tigers go up 17 at halftime – and Jeremy David added four rebounds and two steals while giving Triton matchup fits all night.
Triton, which was allowing just 46 points per game coming into the night, had allowed that figure halfway through the third quarter and couldn’t keep up offensively.
The Trojans shot just 9-29 from the floor (31 percent) and only hit five shots from inside the arc. Jordan Anderson wasn’t able to get loose, scoring 11 points, eight of those points in the first half. Grant Johnson was able to find some success inside for the Trojans, scoring 11 points and pulling down three boards. Masen Yeo was completely shut down, hitting just one three and scoring seven total points.
While Triton head coach Jason Groves understood what his team was up against in Warsaw, the offensive woes weren’t the main thing on his list of issues.
“(Warsaw’s) physical strength is driving to the basket,” began Groves. “We didn’t have guys sliding over taking charges. I can’t recall one time where we actually slid over and took the charge and actually made the ref make a decision. That’s where I was disappointed. It doesn’t take physicality, it takes heart to do that. That’s where I was disappointed. When you have a team like that, they are great at getting to the basket. They can do a lot of different things. They are a good basketball team.”
Warsaw won the JV matchup in the Career Center Gym Tuesday evening, beating Triton 45-28. Asher Blum paced the Tigers with 10 points among nine players in orange and white that scored. Caden Marr netted 12 points for the Trojans.
Warsaw will return to action Jan. 2 in a trip to LaPorte. Triton (5-4) will get back at it Jan. 7 at Elkhart Christian.