Warren's Brady Berdine. File photo by Jared Bakaysa of JB Graphics.

Dragons Fall at the Buzzer to Oil City

January 28, 2023

WARREN, Pa. – Warren led for nearly all of Friday’s Region 6 battle with Oil City, but the Oilers’ Cam VanWormer ultimately had the final say.

Rewatch the game:

VanWormer’s 30-footer from the left wing as time expired sent Oil City to a stunning 60-58 comeback win over Warren.

See the game-winner here:

Warren had taken a 58-57 lead when Tommy Nyquist knocked down the second of two free throws after getting fouled with 3.4 seconds to go.

VanWormer was able to get a free release from the left side and his shot touched nothing but net, capping a 15-point comeback for the Oilers en route to their 11th straight win.

“We had to get it up quickly,” VanWormer said. “Honestly, I knew I was probably going to take the shot, that’s how we run it. I came around, got the inbound, and honestly just threw it up.”

See VanWormer’s full interview:

It was part of a clutch final minute for VanWormer. The Oilers trailed 57-54 before VanWormer’s 3, this one a little shorter than the game-winner, tying the game with 16 seconds to go after Brady Berdine missed the front end of a 1-and-1 for the Dragons.

Oil City (14-2 overall, 4-0 Region 6) didn’t take its first lead of the game until 49-48 on a Sayyid Donald drive with 4:49 to play.

Berdine gave Warren (9-6, 2-2) the lead back on a traditional 3-point play, 51-49 with 3:35 to go, and the Dragon lead swelled back to five, 57-52 on a Berdine free throw with 58 seconds to play.

It was another VanWormer bucket that got the Oilers back within three, 57-54 with 36 seconds to go, prompting the foul on Berdine.

“This was really good,” VanWormer said. “This gives us a lot of energy towards Tuesday against Franklin. This felt really good.”

It was a game that didn’t look as if it was going to feature late-game dramatics early on.

Warren, which was coming off a 95-point outburst against Titusville, scored 25 points in the first quarter to build a 10-point lead, with Nyquist and Berdine scoring eight points each.

The Oilers were able to chip away, however, thanks to their defense, allowing just five points in the second quarter to get back within four, 30-26 at halftime.

“Communication, switching, and calling everything out really helped,” VanWormer said of the Oilers’ improved defensive play.

Parks Ordiway, who scored 10 first-half points for the Dragons, was banged up late in the second quarter and didn’t return.

VanWormer scored 11 of his game-high 19 points in the fourth quarter for Oil City, while Donald finished with 14 and Gavin Stephens had a big 12 points off the bench. Jake Hornbeck also added eight points.

Berdine led Warren with 17 points, while Nyquist had 14 and Ordiway 10 for the Dragons.

“That’s my family and we’re playing really well right now,” VanWormer said.

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