Warriors fall in district semis

John Rohlf, Sports Editor
Posted 3/8/23

Warrenton was unable to contain Westminster Christian’s potent offensive attack in the Warriors’ district semifinal loss last week. 

Warrenton (12-15) fell to the Wildcats (20-9) …

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Warriors fall in district semis


Warrenton was unable to contain Westminster Christian’s potent offensive attack in the Warriors’ district semifinal loss last week. 

Warrenton (12-15) fell to the Wildcats (20-9) 71-40 in last Friday’s Class 5, District 4 semifinal. Westminster Christian knocked down seven three-pointers in the opening quarter to force Warrenton out of their zone defense. Westminster Christian senior Kobi Williams connected on a pair of three-pointers in the opening quarter and scored 33 points in the game to lead the Wildcats. 

“We knew they could shoot,” Warrenton boys basketball coach Mark Thomas said. “We still thought zone was the best way to keep guys covered up. Our rotations were a little slower. They shot it faster than it looked like on film. Their releases were a lot quicker. So we thought we had more time to get there on things.” 

Warrenton started the game in the zone to try to contain Williams, who is averaging over 23 points per game. When Warrenton switched to their man-to-man defense, they either lacked size or speed. 

“We didn’t match up very well man to man with them,” Thomas said. “When we did go to our bigger squad, then we’re slower. Their big kids are like big guards. All of them moved like a guard. So that’s where the struggle lied is we couldn’t really match up really well.”

Warrenton and Westminster Christian exchanged blows early in the opening quarter. After Westminster Christian scored the opening basket of the game, Warrenton’s Maison Rader and Troy Anderson each scored to put Warrenton up 4-3. Deadrick Forrest knocked down a couple free throws later in the quarter to pull Warrenton within one point at 9-8. 

“I thought we gave a pretty good fight there at the beginning,” Thomas said. “Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.”

Westminster Christian went on a subsequent 9-0 run to push Warrenton’s deficit to 10 points. Warrenton trailed 23-10 after the opening quarter. 

Westminster Christian pushed the Warrior deficit to 19 points late in the second quarter before Warrenton trimmed the deficit to 13 points at halftime. Anderson and Deadrick Forrest each connected on a three-pointer late in the quarter. Warrenton trailed 35-22 at halftime. 

Thomas noted the Warriors’ defensive aggressiveness in the second quarter, which created opportunities on the offensive end. The Warriors’ goal heading into the second half was to win the third quarter to give them an opportunity to make a run in the final quarter. 

“You’re not going to get them all back in the third quarter but if we can win the third quarter, then we’ve got an opportunity to then make a run back at them in the fourth as well,” Thomas said. “Scare them a little bit. It didn’t quite work out the way it was planned but I was proud of the kids’ fight all night.”

Westminster Christian started the third quarter on an 11-3 run and led 53-30 at the end of the third quarter. The Wildcats connected on three more three-pointers in the third quarter. 

They hit 14 threes and shot over 73% from beyond the arc in the game. 

“I think they were just riding high and felt really comfortable and I needed to find something better to make them uncomfortable,” Thomas said. “I think they were just comfortable in everything they did tonight and that’s on me to try and figure that out.”

The Wildcats outscored the Warriors 18-10 in the fourth quarter. 

Troy Anderson led Warrenton with 17 points in the loss. Williams guarded Anderson in the Wildcats’ man-to-man defense throughout the game. Thomas thinks that was the closest Anderson was guarded at the high school level. 

“(Williams) did an excellent job defending him,” Thomas said. “I think that’s the closest guarded he’s ever been. He handled it well. We still got opportunities to get the ball to him. But we couldn’t run our stuff. Their defense was so good that it just shut down all of our plays. We had to just go with give a high ball screen and try to make something happen. That’s not really our play and our style.”