Warren's Tommy Nyquist looks to drive against Slippery Rock. Photo courtesy Mark Evans.

Working Overtime x3: Warren Outlasts Slippery Rock in 3OT Thriller to Advance to D10 Semifinals

February 24, 2023

ERIE – Parks Ordiway’s two free throws with 2.3 seconds left finally put the game out of reach as top-seeded Warren outlasted eighth-seeded Slippery Rock, 88-83, in triple overtime to advance to the District 10 Class 4A semifinals.

Rewatch the game (live stream sponsored by Todd and Noel Nyquist):

Tommy Nyquist knocked down a pair of free throws with 23 seconds left to give the Dragons an 86-83 lead. The Rockets’ Josh Book fired a corner three, but it was off the mark. The rebound was headed out of bounds, but Jake Wolak saved it for Slippery Rock. He tried to get it to Dylan Gordon, who had already played hero twice in the game, but Gordon could not get the handle and it went out of bounds.

Brady Berdine lobbed a pass to Ordiway across midcourt and Ordiway went to the line for the penultimate free throws.

“They hit great shots at the end and we were able to keep going,” Nyquist, who played every second of the game, said. “I was expecting a really close game, but I guess no one’s expecting triple overtime. We were finally able to get that last stop, hit our free throws, and got the win.”

See Nyquist’s full postgame interview:

Ordiway hit a 3-pointer with three seconds left in regulation, but Gordon answered with a three of his own at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.

“Our kids left it all out there,” Slippery Rock coach AJ Motta said. “We had some opportunities to win and couldn’t quite close it out. But man, oh man, I’m so proud of these guys.”

Wolak’s jumper with 2:37 to play in the first overtime gave the Rockets a 61-59 lead, their first lead of the game. Slippery Rock eventually gained a 64-62 edge, but Nyquist made a layup to tie it at 64-64 with 40 seconds left.

The Rockets tried to play for the last shot, but John Sabo slipped when he tried to stop on a drive into the lane. Nyquist appeared to have an open look at the basket but passed to Braylon Barnes in the corner. Barnes sent another pass to Brady Berdine, and Berdine was unable to get a shot off before time expired as the game moved to a second overtime.

Free throws told the story in the second overtime. The Dragons went 9-9 from the line while the Rockets were just 1-6. Still, Slippery Rock kept itself within striking distance never trailing by more than four.

“You know they’ve been in survival mode for the last two weeks trying to get in (to the playoffs),” Warren coach Jeff Berdine said. “They’re a good team and they were well coached and I thought they adjusted well to some things we did early that caused some problems.”

Owen Becker’s traditional 3-point play gave Warren a 73-69 advantage. Gordon answered with a 3-pointer to cut the lead to one.

Nyquist was fouled with 8.9 seconds left and knocked down both shots to put the Dragons ahead, 75-72. Following a timeout, Sabo brought the ball across midcourt and started to drive. He stopped, turned, and flipped the ball to Gordon. Gordon took a shot from three feet behind the 3-point line and hit nothing but net to send the game to the third overtime.

“We wanted them to foul,” Coach Berdine said. “We didn’t get that communicated well enough. They were having a hard time hearing us.”

Warren pushed the tempo early and used an effective press defense to take a 21-10 lead into the second quarter. Slippery Rock was a perfect 9-9 from the line in the second quarter and had cut the lead to 34-31 by halftime.

The Rockets tied it early in the third, but Warren entered the fourth with a 47-45 edge.

Gordon had a game-high 24 points for the Rockets. Book and Levi Prementine each had 18 points and Wolak added 12 points.

Brady Berdine led the Dragons with 21 points. Nyquist had 19 points, Becker added 17 points, Ordiway finished with 15, and Barnes had 14.

Warren advanced to the semifinals where the Dragons will face Hickory, a 61-54 winner over General McLane, on Tuesday (time/location TBA) with a trip to the D10 championship on the line. This will be the third straight postseason meeting between the two teams. The Hornets won the previous two meetings.

Basketball playoff coverage is sponsored in part by Olewine Financial Group.

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