An evening that started like an offensive clinic ended like a punch in the gut for Warwick Tuesday.
The Warriors lost a 12-point, second half lead and fell to Governor Mifflin, 77-70 in double overtime in the first round of the District Three Class 6A playoffs in Lititz.
“I thought we did some good things offensively,’’ Warwick coach Chris Christensen said. “I just thought that, collectively, we just made too many losing plays.’’
Warwick bows out for the season at 19-6.
The Mustangs, 15-11, advance to a quarterfinal at second-seeded Central York Friday.
Warwick beat Mifflin by 28 points Jan. 11.
That, of course was before superb junior guard Joey McCracken was lost for the season, turning the Warriors into an undersized outfit that had to grind for everything.
They got to the championship game of the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs that way. In contrast to that shooting-impaired loss to Cedar Crest, Warwick made 12 of 19 first-half shots Tuesday and committed just two turnovers.
Only a 21-8 rebounding edge (again: undersized) kept Mifflin as close as 35-28 at the break.
It stayed that way early in the third; Warwick made five of its first six shots, three of them three-pointers, and led 46-34.
It didn’t start to turn until Mifflin went to a full-court trap, which wasn’t an issue in the team’s first meeting.
“We knew they were going to do that, and they did a much better job with it than the first time,’’ Christensen said. “We didn’t necessarily get to the rim and then finish the way we wanted to.’’
Mifflin was itself getting to the rim, on run-outs created by the press and also in the halfcourt. The Mustangs closed out the third quarter on a 10-2 run to get within 48-44.
It was wild stuff from there to the end of regulation, and through the extra sessions.
Mifflin’s Greg Suber got a clutch three-point play to tie it with 39 seconds left in regulation. Warwick’s Kai Cipalla got a just-as-clutch three to tie it at the end of the first OT.
But two key pieces, Chase Yarberough and Tate Landis, fouled out in the second OT. The Warriors, running out of ammo, managed just one more field goal, and that a banked-in three.
Yarberough, a JV last year and cut from the JVs the year before, was superb in his last high school game and scored 24.
Cipalla added 13.
Mifflin got 45 points from its backcourt of Bryce Harman (26) and Suber (19).
It was a remarkable Warwick season in a lot of ways.
“Honestly, tonight wasn’t our best,’’ Christensen said. “But it was a good season. People counted us out with all the injuries and everything. We accomplished a lot.’’