Lady Dragons Put Up Big Win in Front of Little Dragons

The "Little Dragons" line up with the Warren Lady Dragons for the national anthem prior to the start of the game against Harbor Creek on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.

WARREN, Pa. – With many of their “Little Dragons” in attendance, the Warren Lady Dragons’ offense put on a show with a 62-35 Region 6 win over Harbor Creek Monday.

The Dragons scored at least 14 points in each quarter, meanwhile, the defense limited the Huskies to just 15 first-half points and 20 in the second.

“We’ve been talking about the last three games we just have not shot the ball well, we’ve been a little bit cold and I said that you know, I was waiting for the game where we put the offense and the defense together,” Warren coach Lisa LaVan said. “Almost there tonight, but not quite because the defense fell apart a little bit in the second half for my liking.”

Brooke Przybyski made a field goal and Elise Benim knocked down a 3-pointer with 5:26 to play in the first to give Harbor Creek a 5-1 lead.

Riley Childress got a steal on Harbor Creek’s next possession and led a fast break that ended with Emma Ruhlman converting a traditional 3-point play and Warren’s offense was off and running from that point. The Dragons closed the quarter with a 16-1 run to take a 17-6 lead into the second.

Lindsay Madigan’s three just past the midpoint of the second quarter pushed the Warren lead to 25-10, and Ruhlman knocked down a 3-pointer of her own with two minutes left in the half to make it 28-12. Childress put in a layup on a transition and Ruhlman drained a pair of free throws, while Samantha Zank buried a three for Harbor Creek to get the score to 32-15 at the half.

The scoring was closer to even in the third, but the Dragons were able to push the lead to 20 through the quarter and Ruhlman’s buzzer-beater to end the frame made it 46-25 heading to the fourth.

Childress and Rylee Kapsar traded threes to start the fourth. Then Sammie Ruhlman got in with a three of her own, the first of three in the quarter, to make it 56-31. Her second 3-pointer made it 59-34 and the third came on an excuse me shot from near half-court that banked in as time expired for the final margin.

“One thing that we are is a mentally tough team,” LaVan said. “We are mentally tough and to go through the games that we went through and then to also do it with having a camp today and doing all that stuff. Yeah, they could have stayed in bed like all their friends, but they didn’t. They came here and they work this camp so I was proud of them for that.”

Earlier in the day, the Dragons held their annual basketball camp for girls in 1st through 6th grade. At least 20 of the campers were back in the Joseph A. Massa gymnasium Monday night to take in the action.

“That’s what it’s all about,” LaVan said. “It’s about family and our extended family and to have them here. I mean, that’s the future of Warren Lady Dragon basketball so it was nice to have them here and it was nice just to see how happy they are to be around the girls. And I mean my kids are role models they know they are and they did a great job of being role models today.”

Emma Ruhlman and Childress accounted for nearly 3/4 of Warren’s points as they finished with 23 and 21 points, respectively. Childress added six assists and Emma Ruhlman had eight rebounds. Sammie Ruhlman finished with 11 points, while Halle Kuzminski had two points and seven rebounds.

Zank led the Huskies with 10 points, while Benim had nine and Kapsar eight.

After playing four tough region games (McDowell, Villa, Erie and Harbor Creek) in seven days, the Dragons will have a few days to rest before they hit the road for a rematch with Erie Saturday.

“A few days off is going to be fantastic,” LaVan said. “So we’re going to get those few days off. Erie is going to be gunning for us they want nothing more than a beat us at their place. So you know, we’ll just regroup, go through our game plan again and get ready to go.”