BOURBON – Dayton Groninger got hot, and coincidentally, so did Warsaw at the right time. A tight ballgame in the second quarter quickly turned into a rout as Warsaw ran away from Triton in a 53-31 girls basketball result Tuesday night at the Trojan Trench.
Groninger was part of a huge second quarter that flowed into the third, making what was tight game for 12 minutes into a win for Goliath. David, in this case the Class 1-A Trojans, was down just 13-10 in the second quarter before Groninger and the Class 4-A Tigers began to show why they’re considered one of the top teams in the state. A three from Groninger gave Warsaw a 16-10 lead, and that would just keep going. The Tigers would close the half on a 14-3 run capped by a Kaylee Patton three as time ran out, which then turned into a 29-7 spurt, with Groninger doing much of the damage.
The senior sharpshooter had 26 points overall as the only Tiger in double figures, but also recorded nine rebounds, five assists and four steals while committing just one turnover in 26:30 of play.
“Dayton needed to have a game like this tonight to come out and start hitting her shots again and scoring for us,” said Warsaw head coach Michelle Harter. “That just helps open it up for everybody else when she is doing those things.”
Madi Graham’s seven points, no rebounds and one steal might be lost among a grid of numbers for Warsaw, but her defense on Hannah Wanemacher and the Triton perimeter, as well as her help in the press, were huge in flustering Triton into 17 turnovers in the game.
Warsaw was able to turn those Triton giveaways into 21 points, a 19-point margin from just the two points Triton was able to create into points off of turnovers.
“We took one bad shot towards the end of the second quarter,” began Triton head coach Adam Heckaman, “and that led to a layup for them. Then a turnover for us and a layup for them and then a foul. And then another turnover and it’s eight points real quick. All of a sudden that ballooned from five (points down) to 13. Just some mental mistakes on our part. That’s something we’re still trying to learn. I think we’re doing better at it. But when you have that one lapse, I guess against a team like Warsaw, it cost us a lot.”
Wanemacher would end up with 15 points to lead Triton, making 8-9 in free throws. Nicole Sechrist would add seven points and two boards.
Warsaw moves to 24-3 in the series against Triton, having only lost to the Trojans once in the past 30 years which was two years ago.
“I thought we came out a little sluggish in that first half, but picked it up about midway through the second quarter, especially the last two minutes,” Harter said. “I thought we did a better job defensively and then looking to get the ball moving and getting some transition points.”
The JV contest went to Warsaw in a convincing 41-17 final. Maddie Ryman again led the Tigers with 15 points while Halle Shipp came through with 13 points. Chelsea Johnson gave Triton six points.
Warsaw (11-1) will visit yet another ranked opponent on the road in Friday’s matchup at Norwell, which is 6-4 and ranked No. 10 in Class 3-A. Triton (3-11) will look to recover over the holiday and return with a home game Jan. 4 against Oregon-Davis.