Warriors Open the Season on a Rough Note, Lose First Two Games

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Ayden Gutierrez, Author

After coming into the season with high expectations, West Branch never would’ve thought that an 0-2 record would be possible. As the Warriors prepare for Wednesday’s contest at Glendale, however, that’s exactly where they stand. West Branch opened the season with two non-conference games at both Bald Eagle Area and Clearfield. Both teams are in Quad-A divisions, while the Warriors are a Double-A team.

The Warriors came out of the gates strong Friday night at Bald Eagle, hitting shot after shot. They hit 10 three pointers by the end of the night. The Warriors went into the half leading 32-29. Halfway into the third quarter, the Warriors took a 10-point lead and showed no signs of slowing down. But from that moment on, it was as if the tides had turned. West Branch got into foul trouble, and had to sub players in and out to prevent anyone from fouling out. The Warriors were unable to get back into a groove just as the Eagles seemed to be getting into one of their own. In the fourth quarter, it was all Eagles. Bald Eagle outscored West Branch 17-5 in the fourth quarter to go on to win 63-55. West Branch’s leading scorer, Larry Cowder, sat out a significant amount of time in the 4th as he had 4 fouls. Cowder scored 20 points on the night. David Guerra scored 13, Ayden Gutierrez scored 9, Chance Eboch scored 8, John Arnold scored 3, and Trent Bellomy scored 2.

The Warriors looked to bounce back on Monday night at Clearfield. Unlike their first game, both teams came out of the gates slow. Clearfield led 10-6 after the 1st quarter, and neither team did much else in the 2nd quarter, as the Warriors went into the half trailing 17-16. West Branch used a strong defensive gameplan to try and shut down Clearfield’s strong inside offensive attack, and it worked to perfection in the first half. Both teams came out firing in the second half. Cowder and Guerra each hit a three for the Warriors, but Clearfield took no time in answering as they quickly knotted things up at 23. After an and-one from Clearfield, the Bison would score 17 straight unanswered points. Arnold hit a shot from inside to halt the run, but Clearfield scored at the buzzer to go into the 4th leading 47-26. West Branch couldn’t get anything rolling in the 4th either, as the Warriors would go on to lose 57-33. Larry led the Warriors with 15 points, Guerra scored 7, Arnold scored 5, Gutierrez scored 4, and Dalton Kristofits scored 2.

“We played in two tough environments,” Senior John Arnold said. “Although we didn’t come out on top, we can use these two games to prepare us for a playoff environment.”

The Warriors look to get in the win column tonight at Glendale.