Warner Upsets No. 16 Saint Francis (Ind.)
By Kendal Sherrouse, Warner Sports Information
LAKE WALES, Fla. - The Warner (Fla.) men's basketball team picked up some momentum heading into the Christmas break with a 66-54 upset win over No. 16 University of Saint Francis (Ind.) on Monday evening. The Royals improve their record to 8-4 on the season and hand the Cougars their third loss, 10-3.
On the Cougars' first possession, Warner's Mark St. Fort blocked Scott Kohne's shot attempt to set the tone for what would be a great defensive game on both sides. At the 16:48 mark, Saint Francis held a 7-2 advantage. The Royals struggled from behind the arc in the first half (15.4%) but were able to stay in the game with 14 points in the paint.
After trading the lead four times in the first half, Ray Victor put the Royals ahead 30-28 at the 1:12 mark and Halstead Chiverton added a free throw before the break to give Warner a 31-28 lead at halftime.
Bryce Kachinski finished the first half with eight points to lead the Royals. Victor came off the bench to add six points as well. Ethan Hussey matched Kachinski with eight points to lead the Cougars.
The Royals came out of the break and ran their lead to eight points, 39-31, on Halstead Chiverton's layup at the 16:48 mark. The Cougars responded with a 14-4 run of their own over the next five minutes and retook the lead on Kevin Bloom's three pointer at the 11:14 mark.
With less than five minutes to go, Warner's Ray Victor broke a 52-52 tie with a three pointer of his own. The shot ignited the Royals on both sides of the ball. Offensively, the Royals poured in 14 straight points while defensively holding the Cougars scoreless on five possessions and forcing five turnovers. Jordan Hahn broke up the run scoring Saint Francis' final points on a pair of free throws with less than a minute left but it was not enough as the Royals victorious 66-54.
Bryce Kachinski (pictured top left) led all scorers with 19 points while dishing five assists. The senior was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Ray Victor finished with 13 points and four rebounds, all off the bench. Halstead Chiverton also came off the bench to record 12 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Mark St. Fort added 10 points and seven boards in the winning effort as well.
For the Cougars, Kevin Bloom led with 13 points and Scott Kohne grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
The Royals come back after the Christmas break to host the 2nd Annual Crooked Lake Classic in conjunction with Webber International University. The Royals will host Goshen College (Ind.) on Friday, Dec. 28, and No. 13 Dordt College (Iowa) on Saturday, Dec. 29. Both games will start at 7 p.m.