by Frank Platko ’18
The Warriors took on the rival Springbrook Blue Devils in a highly-anticipated matchup on Tuesday, January 2. Despite leading by more than 10 points in the first half, the Warriors offense stalled down the stretch. Late turnovers and fouls proved costly in the 68-63 defeat.
The matchup was competitive for much of the game, but the Blue Devils took the lead in the third quarter and the Warriors were unable to regain momentum. The loss dropped the Warriors to an even 3-3 record while Springbrook went to 6-1 and cracked the Washington Post’s top 20.
Senior Donovan Lacey led the Warriors’ scoring with 14 points. His brother, sophomore forward Nate Lacey, had 12. Springbrook was led by senior guard Matthew Balanc, who eclipsed the 20-point mark. Balanc recently committed to play basketball at Quinnipiac University, a Division I school.
Springbrook, a division rival, defeated Sherwood in the first round of last year’s playoff. While the Warriors couldn’t pull out a victory in this game, they’ll have another opportunity to avenge the defeats when they travel to face Springbrook again on Tuesday, January 23.
The losing score doesn’t tell the whole story, however, as the Warriors competed well despite being undermanned. Coach Tim Gilchrist, suffering from illness, was unable to attend the contest. Assistant coach Randy Thompson filled in his absence.
Already missing junior forward Domenico Martella, who suffered a partially torn Achilles in practice over winter break, senior guard Brad Riley injured his shoulder in the second quarter and was held out for the remainder of the game. The exact severity of his injury is unknown, but Riley was seen wearing a sling on the sideline and was taken to the emergency room after the game. The status of both players is up in the air, but absences of multiple games is likely.
Should Riley miss an extended period of time, the Warriors will without their starting point guard. Seniors Davis Long, Donovan Lacey, and Josh Salzer will likely shoulder the bulk of ball-handling and playmaking duties.
“I’ve had the ball in my hands a lot more this season, and I feel comfortable making plays for my teammates” said Long. “The biggest adjustment will be learning to play against double-teams, which I saw a lot of against Springbrook.”
The Warriors have the depth to cope with these injuries, but having both Riley and Martella healthy come playoff-time will be important to the team’s success.
The Warriors look to bounce back on Friday, January 5, when they travel to face Northwood.