January has been a good trapping month for Warren.
The Blue Devils, who switched to a trapping matchup zone in January, has all but erased a dismal first half to their boys basketball season. Warren, which began the year 4-8, climbed to .500 (10-10) on Tuesday with a 54-48 victory over St. Viator in Arlington Heights.
"Our guys, when they really move around, they are tough," Warren coach Jon Jasnoch said. "There is some real quickness out there and they cover a lot of ground. That helped us."
Warren, which forced 18 St. Viator turnovers, used that quickness to rally from a 34-25 deficit with 5:12 left in the third quarter.
"We started to play a ball press, 32 or 33," said Warren's Branden Ellis, who finished with 13 points. "We have been disrupting teams. That helps get us going, because we like to score in transition."
The Blue Devils did just that.
They forced 6 turnovers in the final five minutes of the third quarter. With that pressure, Warren was able to close out the period with 11 unanswered points to lead 36-34 at the end of three quarters.
"The last few games, our ball press has been really working for us," guard Ian Schilling said. "It has really been effective for us and we are going to keep using it until it just doesn't work."
After St. Viator (7-13) tied the game on a putback by Daniel Morton, Warren went back to work. Thanks to a pair of steals, the Blue Devils scored 8 consecutive points to roar to a 44-36 lead with 5:37 to play.
"We got some buckets in transition that helped us catch up and then go ahead," Jasnoch said. "The turnovers are what did it for us. Our kids kept playing hard, kept getting their hands on the ball and getting us some turnovers."
St. Viator, which was coming off an 0-for-12 shooting performance last Friday against Notre Dame, was on the mark Tuesday.
The Lions, who converted 6-of-11 shots from outside the arc in the first three quarters, stayed hot down the stretch to get back in the game.
A pair of 3s by Peter Lambesis, who led the Lions with 14 points, and a rebound basket by Matt Doersching pulled St. Viator to within 2 at 46-44 with 2:20 to play.
Ellis gave the Lions a taste of their own game, by draining a 3 from the corner to make it 49-44 with 2:02 to play.
St. Viator fought back to trail 51-48 with less than a minute to play. The Lions tried to tie it in a three from the corner, but the shot, hit off the rim with less than 10 seconds to play. Warren then converted 3 free throws down the stretch to post the victory.
"It was a tale of two halves for us," St. Viator coach Quin Hayes said. "We defended better in the first half. In the second half, we had a good start, but then we started getting away from what we do.
"We were playing one on one and putting our heads down when we turned over the ball. That led to run out after run out for them."
After Ellis' 13 points, Warren had nice scoring balance from eight players. Juwan Perry and Josh Pelland each had 8 points, Declan O'Connor had 7 points, James Short 6 and Jayson Dorsey 5.
Jeremiah Hernandez had 12 points for St. Viator, Morton chipped in 11 thanks to 3 triples and Addison Lubert had 6 points and 8 rebounds.