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Warren Harding battles past Farrell

WARREN — The Farrell Steelers made the trip across the state line from Pennsylvania to Warren Harding on Tuesday to take on the Raiders in the WKBN high school basketball game of the week.

The game lived up to the billing as it was a physical, emotional battle. In the end, Harding walked away with a hard fought 56-47 victory.

“We knew that Farrell was going to come out strong,” said Harding coach Keelyn Franklin. “Once we were able to settle in and get some stops, I thought our confidence started building.”

The Steelers led 12-6 at the end of the first quarter thanks to a tough 2-3 zone defense. However, seniors Nau’Jeat Jones and Ny Coleman sparked the Raiders as the second quarter got underway.

Jones had a steal and a layup, and he made three buckets in a row to tie it up after a huge rejection by Ny Coleman (12 points).

Coleman’s younger brother, junior Chaz Coleman, had a big block as well, and he finished with a game-high 19 points.

“It was a very tough game,” he said. “We had to execute our plays to come out on top. This game right here gave us more energy to make a run in the tournament.”

Davion Herron (10 points) nailed a 3-pointer from the corner. Harding turned up the intensity and Farrell had some costly turnovers. The Raiders (13-9) went ahead 22-19 at halftime.

It was a packed house with a tournament-type atmosphere, and the game almost got out of hand at times in the second half. The Steelers (17-5) tied it up 29-29 before multiple technical fouls were called on both teams.

Then, junior Jeremy Sampson drilled a 3-pointer from the corner, and sophomore Khi Blutcher swished one from behind the arc at the buzzer to bring the fans to their feet. Harding led 35-31 heading to the fourth.

Chaz Coleman has developed an all-around game. He brought the ball up the court and dumped it off to Ny Coleman underneath for the assist.

The Raiders began to pull away after a pretty finger-roll and a strong and-one from Chaz Coleman, and Herron dribbled out the final seconds of the victory.

“Chaz is a heck of an athlete,” Franklin said. “He makes plays out there. He has so many tools. He has some gifts that God gave him with his size and athletic ability. He’s putting it together, but he hasn’t even scratched the surface of what his potential is.

“We’re playing well at the right time. We got tougher tonight. You don’t win a game like that unless you’re tough. We’ve taken strides in the toughness department. We still have a lot to be desired as far as our offensive execution. We’re going to have to work hard on that to get prepared for the tournament.”

sports@vindy.com

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