VINCENT — The place to be on Friday and Saturday for Mid-Ohio Valley basketball fans is Warren High School.
The inaugural Clash at The Coliseum presented by The Citizens Bank Company will feature a dozen varsity games as well as 12 junior varsity tilts during the event.
Admission for each day is $10, which gives fans entry to whatever games they’d like to take in.
Varsity contests will be held in the new Warrior Coliseum and the JV games will be in the old Warrior Coliseum.
Friday’s opening game is slated to get underway at 11 a.m. with the Logan girls taking on Union Local. The final game of the evening will pit the Warrior girls against Waterford.
The first of four contests for the boys will tip at 12:45 p.m. with Frontier and Fairfield Christian. They will be followed by Trimble taking on Marietta at 2:30 p.m., host Warren squaring off against Athens at 4:15 p.m. and then Waterford squares off against Portsmouth West at 6 p.m.
“We got to limit our turnovers,” admitted Warren head boys coach Blane Maddox, who is starting his 24th year at the helm of the Warriors. “Young guys have a tendency to turn the ball over too much at the varsity level.
“Got to limit the turnovers, play ball, take the shots when you got them and rebound. Our defense, coach (Jerry) Mitchem has worked them hard this year. We have worked almost daily on defense and that’s always been one of Warren’s strengths.”
Aside from senior guard Ayden Cornell and junior pivot Trent Taylor, the Warriors’ co-captains, the varsity roster consists of nine other players and they are all sophomores.
“We talked. That can’t be an excuse. That’s what we are,” Maddox said. “We are young, but we don’t talk much about that to each other. Other people can talk about us being young. We talk about getting better.”
The Warren girls of first-year head coach Brad Venham opened the season with a 62-15 win Saturday at Morgan.
Alex Frazee led the way with 26 points and seven steals. Mackenzie James-McGuire had 10 points for the Warriors, who also received seven rebounds and five assists from Madison Lynn.
“What a way to ring in the new season for coach Maddox and the boys, and a special home opener for us as well,” stated coach Venham. “Lots of long hours by many people have gone into making this happen and it is going to be two full days of great basketball. To be a part of something showcasing some of the best teams, not only in our area but the state, is very exciting. Not to mention, some legendary coaches as well. It’s going to be a lot of fun.
“We are looking forward to facing Waterford. Anytime you can go up against one of the best overall programs in the state, it’s a great opportunity. Coach (Jerry) Close does a fantastic job with whatever group he has coming up, and this year will be no different. Several weapons mixed in with hard-nosed defense, and good fundamental basketball is tough to go against. We look forward to the opportunity and hope that we can add to the high caliber basketball that will be played before, and after, us each day this coming weekend.”
Saturday’s first game also tips at 11 a.m. with the Morgan girls taking on Belpre. The rest of the schedule features Morgan vs. Fairland boys at 12:45 p.m., the Fairland girls versus John Glenn at 2:30 p.m., Warren’s girls taking on Meigs at 4:15 p.m. with the boys from Caldwell and Federal Hocking clashing at 6 p.m. Warren’s boys will square off versus Belpre at 7:45 p.m. in the finale.
“I think we’ll get better every day, every week, every month and we’ll show improvement,” coach Maddox added. “We’re learning. We’re not where we need to be yet. We’re fortunate we have some good basketball players.
“They’ve got to learn the varsity level and get adjusted to the speed and the physical strength of having to play against some young men. We’ve shown in practices and scrimmages we will battle.”
Contact Jay Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org
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