EVERETT – Earlier this year, Everett manager Eric Lichty saw Meyersdale return from a large deficit in the second half to almost beat Shade in a regular season game.
When Everett was 11 points ahead of the Red Raiders at halftime in their play-in playoff game in District 5-AA on Thursday night, he was still uncomfortable.
His team came out of the locker room in the second half with a 19-6 run that included 14 direct points from the Warriors as they scored a 63-38 win.
The win earns the Warriors a Wednesday night trip to Conemaugh Township with the best seeds for a spot in the District 5-AA finals.
Isaac Mearkle started the barrage with a three-pointer to open the second half, but Briar Sheets got two of them back for the Red Raiders. The next time the visitors scored more than five minutes later, Everett had scored 14 more points and extended the lead to 44:18.
The Warriors shared the wealth of points along the route, with Josiah Seese scoring six points and two apiece for Dylan Jesk, Brandon Mills, Mearkle and Calvin Iseminger on field goals.
Even so, Meyersdale’s game against Shade got stuck in Lichty’s head, and when the Warriors had quick possession the next time they had the ball and fouled Meyersdale, Lichty called for a quick time-out.
“I saw this game against Shade when they were big and came back almost to win,” he said. “Shade shot quickly without missing a lot. I didn’t want that to happen tonight.
“We have to learn to cope.”
Meyersdale reduced the deficit to 46-24 by the end of the third quarter, but after the two teams swapped three at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Everett took the next six points, beating the Red Raiders 10-2 to score 59 Points -29 lead and put the rule of grace into effect.
Everett took the lead from the start and never looked back. Mills scored the first goal for the Warriors, followed by a three for Iseminger 5-0. That was a harbinger of the future as Iseminger scored a big quarter and Mills dominated inside.
Mills blocked many of the Red Raiders’ shots and forced other modified shots. He had at least 10 rebounds in the first quarter, many of which were offensive rebounds.
“We hadn’t seen Brandon as dominant in a long time,” added Lichty.
While Mills tidied the inside, Iseminger added three more, allowing two drives to succeed for 10 points in the first quarter as the Warriors took a 15-6 lead after the first quarter. Iseminger finished the game with 18 points.
Meyersdale scored the first four points of the second quarter to bring the deficit down to five, but the visitors didn’t get any closer as the game progressed. Mills played a three-point game while Jesk added an offensive rebound and putback.
The Red Raiders got four points back on Elijah Miller and Sheets’ baskets, but Seese had a three-point game and Iseminger and Jesk added field goals to put Everett up halfway through 27-16 and the big one prepare third quarter.
“We took very good care of the ball tonight,” added Lichty. “We recovered well tonight, much better than we recovered. They were big for us tonight. “
The Warriors also had an even result, with Seese scoring 16 points, Jesk 12 and Mills eight.
Sheets had 17 points for the Red Raiders and no other Meyersdale player had more than six. The Red Raiders had four players, averaging nine or more points per game, participating in the competition.
District 5 AA game (4) EVERETT 63, (5) MEYERSDALE 38
Meyersdale 6 10 8 14-38
Everett 15 12 19 17-63