Photo by Chris Rossetti

Warren Boys Hoops Cruises to Brookville Tip-off Tournament Title

December 3, 2023

BROOKVILLE, Pa. – There was a lot for Warren boys’ basketball coach Jeff Berdine to be happy about after his Dragons took home the Brookville Tip-off Tournament title for a second straight year thanks to a 53-34 win over the host Raiders Saturday.

“I love coming to this tournament,” Berdine said. “Last year, we got two good games against two state playoff teams in Union and Brookville. This year, Union was solid (Friday) night and gave us a good game, and tonight (Saturday night) I really thought we had to play well, and we did.”

Rewatch the game

A big second quarter from Braylon Barnes helped Warren (2-0) build a 34-18 halftime lead.

Barnes scored 10 of his team-high 18 points in the second eight minutes helping the Dragons outscore Brookville (1-1), 19-7 in the quarter. That run took a four-point lead, 15-11, at the end of a quarter and turned it into a 16-point halftime advantage.

“They pressured Tommy (Nyquist) a lot,” Barnes, who was named tournament MVP, said. “I knew I had to give him more of an opportunity to get the ball to everybody. Jack Pete is a very good defender, so I knew he was going to be up on me. I was going to use my cuts as a way to score on him. They screened for me offensively to get me open, which was awesome.”

Watch Barnes’ full Cole Orthodontic Associates postgame interview after he was named the Allegheny Grille of Foxburg Player of the Game.

Berdine was surprised with how easily his team was able to attack the rim in the first half.

“In the past, they have been one of the more physical teams,” Berdine said. We are used to the hand checks and the kids getting really physical with us. I told the kids today, I thought it was going to be physical. I was a little surprised. I also think the officiating really was a little bit loose in the first half in terms of they didn’t call a lot of ticky-tack fouls like they did the night before. They kind of let us play, and I think the kids adjusted well to that.”

Things tightened up considerably for Warren in the second half in terms of scoring, as the Dragons went nearly the first four minutes of the half without scoring a basket.

But the Warren defense made sure that didn’t matter holding Brookville to just two points during that stretch meaning that when Logan Crissey finally broke the dry spell with a 3-pointer from the right corner with 4:03 left in the third quarter the Draggon advantage actually increased by a point over where it was at halftime.

“We got a ton of looks to start the third that were open, we just couldn’t put it in the hoop,” Berdine said. “But our defense picked up right where we left off, and we were able to hold them to zero, too. Normally, in a game like that if you are up 17, 18 at the half and you are 0-for-5 for the first five possessions you are right back into a dogfight. We were able to defensively keep them right where we were at.”

Crissey added 16 points for the Dragons with Brady Berdine chipping in 12.

Kellan Haines had a game-high 23 points for Brookville, who only had three players score. Pete added eight tallies.

NOTES – Nyquist was also named to the all-tournament team … Warren returns to action Wednesday when it hosts Seneca for its home opener.

         

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