Eisenhower's Kyler Black blocks the shot of Cochranton's Brady Rynd during their game at Eisenhower on Feb. 10, 2023. File photo by Steve Younger.

Dragons, Knights Turn Attention to Semifinal Showdowns

February 28, 2023

Warren and Eisenhower both passed their quarterfinal playoff tests in exciting fashion, and now both have their sites to semifinal action on Tuesday.

The Dragons, the top seed in Class 4A, battle No. 4 Hickory in the semifinals (PennWest Edinboro after a thrilling triple-overtime victory over No. 8 Slippery Rock in the quarterfinals, 88-83

Eisenhower, meanwhile, the No. 4 seed in Class 2A, fresh off a 71-65 win over No. 5 Saegertown, will take on No. 1 Merceer at Meadville High School (6 p.m.)

Win or lose, Eisenhower will still be alive, as District 10 takes three from 2A into the PIAA championships.

Warren, meanwhile, needs to win to keep its season alive, as D10 only takes two teams in 4A.

Here’s a look at each game.

CLASS 4A

(1) WARREN (16-7) vs. (4) HICKORY (14-8) – PW Edinboro, 8 p.m.

Warren survived not one but two buzzer-beaters courtesy of Slippery Rock’s Dylan Gordon in their 3-OT thriller in the quarterfinals.

The Dragons are facing a Hickory team that has been their kryptonite in the postseason, knocking them off in each of the last three seasons.

Five Warren starters came into the postseason averaging double figures, and that was once again the case against Slippery Rock, as Brady Berdine (21), Tommy Nyquist (19), Owen Becker (17), Parks Ordiway (15), and Braylon Barnes (14) all hit those marks.

Berdine scored 13 of his points early in the game, while Nyquist was brilliant down the stretch, scoring 15 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and overtimes.

Hickory, meanwhile, rallied from a 10-point second-half deficit to eliminate No. 5 General McLane, 61-54.

Aidan Enoch was clutch down the stretch for the Hornets, scoring eight of his game-high 18 points in the third quarter. Tyson Djakovich, meanwhile, had 15 points, and Landon Bean had 10.

The two teams did not meet in the regular season. The winner will take on the Grove City/Harbor Creek winner in the D10 title game on Friday.

CLASS 2A

(1) MERCER (19-4) vs. (4) EISENHOWER (14-9) at Meadville H.S., 6 p.m.

Mercer had no problem with West Middlesex in the quarterfinals, racing to a 68-33 win, their third win over the Big Reds this season.

Eisenhower, meanwhile, also beat Saegertown for the third time this season, 71-65.

Mercer and West Middlesex actually were tied after the first quarter, but it was all Mustangs after that, as they went on an 18-5 second-quarter run and didn’t look back in notching the program’s first playoff win since 2003.

Dae Mattocks had 14 points and Cole Cunningham nine in the win.

Eisenhower, meanwhile, got a monster effort from Wyatt Lookenhouse in its win. The Knights’ senior poured in 37 points, 15 of which came in the first quarter.

Johnny Palmieri, meanwhile, finished with 18 points – all on 3s.

The two teams did not meet during the regular season.

The winner will play the winner of Cambridge Springs/Erie First Christian for the D10 title on Friday, while the losers will play in the third-place game, also on Friday.

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