BY JOE FONTANAZZA
SC Staff Writer
After three straight losses, many fans began to question the state of the ESU Warriors, but an impressive win over Bloomsburg during senior night reaffirmed their status as the PSAC East top team.
Seniors Dan Clapp, Terrance King, Blair Ramsey, Duane Johnson and Gerald Bridges are five of the most decorated Warriors in ESU’s history, and they played like it in their last regular season game at Koehler Fieldhouse.
The aforementioned three game stretch saw the Warriors out-worked on the boards, leaving too many easy points at the free throw line, and numerous misses from the three-point line, which is uncharacteristic for a team known for sharpshooting.
The seniors and the rest of the Warriors made it their mission to dispel the notion that they were faltering towards the end of the season.
From the tip off, the Warriors played the type of basketball that made them a top 10 ranked team throughout the season; they spread out the Bloomsburg defense and found the open man leading to an impressive 55.6 percent three point percentage and an equally impressive 65.4 percent field goal percentage in the first half.
The Warriors full court pressure defense that has become their trademark and the highest turnover-producing defense in the PSAC, was in full effect against the Huskies.
The ESU defense held the Bloomsburg offense to a lowly 15.6 percent shooting percentage and a 0-9 performance behind the 3 point line in the first half. The Warriors also hounded the huskies for 10 turnovers before half time.
The seniors not only led on the floor but in the box score. Terrance King accumulated 13 points and also grabbed four rebounds in limited time,. King showed abnormal feats of athleticism and raised the volume level of Koehler Fieldhouse in the process.
Duane Johnson, impressed as well, scoring 13 points, raising for four rebounds and additionally finding teammates for six assists.
On a night meant for the seniors, a freshman shined the brightest.
Wes Cherry led the Warriors in scoring with 18 points and added three assists and three rebounds in a game that should give him extra looks from the coaching staff and opposing scouts.
Many fans in attendance were also keeping track of the game between West Chester, who was tied with ESU for first place in the PSAC East, and Cheyney.
A West Chester win would have meant that the Golden Rams would be the #1 seed, with the Warriors being the #2 seed going into the PSAC tournament (The two teams split the season series, with West Chester winning the most recent matchup 83-76 last Saturday at Koehler Fieldhouse).
ESU would not find out their fate until about 15 minutes after their win over Bloomsburg, but fans were definitely scoreboard-watching throughout the game.
The Warriors win, coupled with Cheyney’s 92-83 upset over West Chester, gave ESU their third PSAC East regular season title, and first since 2010.
This is also the third PSAC East title for Warriors head coach Jeff Wilson who coached the Warriors to a title in 2010, and was an assistant coach under Sal Mentesana when ESU won the their first title back in 1992.
After ending their final regular season game as a Warrior on a positive note, the seniors will do all they can to play keep their ESU jerseys for a long run in the PSAC playoffs.
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