Trailing in the fourth quarter, Warrenton guards Troy Anderson and Deadrick Forrest came up with multiple clutch scores down the stretch to help the Warriors win their first district tournament game …
Trailing in the fourth quarter, Warrenton guards Troy Anderson and Deadrick Forrest came up with multiple clutch scores down the stretch to help the Warriors win their first district tournament game in five years.
Anderson and Forrest combined to score all of Warrenton’s 17 fourth quarter points to push Warrenton to a 51-47 district quarterfinal win over Ft. Zumwalt East. Anderson scored 11 of his team-leading 19 points in the fourth quarter. He connected on four free throws down the stretch to clinch the victory. Forrest scored on a three-point play late in the fourth quarter to give Warrenton a 45-44 lead, their first lead of the fourth quarter. After Ft. Zumwalt East regained the lead, Forrest connected on two free throws to put Warrenton up for good. The Warrenton freshman finished the game with 11 points.
During a timeout early in the fourth quarter, the Warriors’ consensus was to give the ball to Anderson and Forrest down the stretch.
“There was no offense called,” Warrenton boys basketball coach Mark Thomas said. “It was screens for Troy and Deadrick and let them make plays. If they can hit you for a layup, be ready for it. If not, they’re going to keep the ball. Those guys stepped up big late and carried us to a victory.”
The Warrenton post players were also key down the stretch, with multiple key rebounds late in the game. Senior Maison Rader led Warrenton with nine rebounds in the game.
“The post guys did an excellent job of rebounding,” Thomas said. “We had some huge rebounds there late that were really key. That was our number one key that we wrote on the board was win the glass.”
Warrenton overcame slow starts in the opening quarters of each half in the opening round win. Ft. Zumwalt East jumped out to an early 7-2 lead on Warrenton and led 13-10 after the opening quarter. Warrenton outscored Ft. Zumwalt East 14-6 in the second quarter to take a 24-19 lead into halftime. An Anderson two-point basket early in the third quarter put Warrenton up 27-21 before the Lions went on a 10-0 run to regain the lead. Despite regaining the lead at 34-33 heading into the final quarter, Warrenton found themselves trailing by five points in the final quarter before mounting a comeback in the victory.
Thomas thought the Warriors had jitters throughout the game, adding he thought many of their struggles were self-induced throughout the game. He credited the Warriors’ perseverance to still find a way to win the district quarterfinal game.
“That’s what I told them. I was proud of them,” Thomas said. “The crap that got us into the position that we were in. I was proud of how you were resilient and got yourself back out of it more than once. At the end when it really mattered, you started doing those things.”
The Warriors connected on 18 free throws in the game, including nine in the final quarter, to help them to their 12th victory of the season. Warrenton shot 75% from the free throw line after shooting below 50% from the free throw line in their final two regular season games against St. Charles and Winfield.
“I loved that part of it because we’ve been terrible from the free throw line for the last two to three regular season games,” Thomas said. “We’ve been hammering free throws a lot in practice. Especially in pressure situations…We shot a lot of free throws with pressure and being tired. I was proud they put the work in on those and it paid off tonight.”