DUNLAP - Brooke Zartman scored 14 of Warsaw’s first 16 points and surpassed Kelci Freds’s single season record of 60 three-point baskets in the Warsaw Lady Tigers’ convincing 61-21 opening round Class 4A Sectional 4 win over the Concord Minutemen at McCuen Gym Tuesday night. The Tigers defeated Concord for the second time in 11 days.

The journey toward last night’s lopsided margin had its share of speed bumps, particularly in the third quarter.

The beginning of the contest, though, was mercurial for the Tiger offense, especially Zartman.

Zartman eviscerated the Minutemen defense opening the night’s action with a layup driving through the lane, then added two 3-point buckets during her 8-point run within 60 seconds. The freshman continued her assault with another basket beyond the arc setting a new season 3-point basket record (61) putting Warsaw ahead 11-0. Joslyn Bricker drove for a layup being only the second player among ten playing on the court to score halfway through the first quarter.

Zartman, a 5’7” freshman guard, led all scorers with 22 points, and added 5 rebounds, 5 steals and an assist. She now stands at 64 treys heading into Warsaw’s sectional semifinal against the Elkhart Lions Friday with a tip-off around 7:30 p.m.at McCuen Gym.

Concord did not get on the board until 3:02 showed on the first period clock, much sooner than they did in their regular season battle with the Tigers. Concord’s Shelby Emerick’s basket and free throw broke their scoreless woes. Warsaw lead 26-5 when the first period smoke cleared.

The Tigers dished out 8 assists in the opening frame with six of the eight players seeing opening period action dishing out at least one assist.

Warsaw moved ahead 43-9 at halftime before the aforementioned third quarter when it seemed the arctic freeze outdoor blew in and froze the Tigers, whose hot first half shooting exponentially plummeted.

The Tigers connected on 63% and 55% of their shots in the first two respective quarters before exponentially cooling off in a 3 for 17 shooting effort in the third period.

Warsaw head coach Lenny Krebs was well aware of some facets of the game the Tigers needed to improve, even with such a large lead.

“Any time you shoot the ball as well as we did in the first half it hides a lot of mistakes,” Krebs said. “I thought we hid a lot of defensive mistakes we had just by shooting the basketball well. We have to get better defensively, that’s my biggest concern,”

The orange and black broke their third frame scoring schneid with an Alexis Neely free throw with 3:11 left in the period. Neely’s layup 21 seconds later was Warsaw’s first field goal after 12 previous misses from inside and outside.

Warsaw’s 50-15 lead at the end of three frames triggered the IHSAA mercy rule’s running clock in the final quarter. Krebs cleared his bench quickly in the early part of the fourth quarter to reach the 61-21 final outcome.

Alexis Neely continues to be a force on the boards. The forward, small-but-muscular for her position, led all rebounders with 10 rebounds, 3 from the offensive glass. The freshman added 3 points and 2 assists.

Other notable statistical efforts by the Tigers included Joslyn Bricker (13 pts, 3 steals, 4 assists), Ava Egolf (4 rebounds, 2 blocked shots), and Dalaney Vilamaa (6 points, 2 assist, 1 steal). Abby Peterson also snared four thefts for the victors.

Warsaw finished the night 24-52 (46%) from the field, 9 of 23 (39%) beyond the arc, and they grabbed 37 caroms with 16 of those boards coming from the offensive end. Warsaw hit 4 of 6 free throws.

“I told the girls at halftime we need to accomplish two things: better ball movement in the second half and better execution defensively,” Krebs noted. “Tonight was about getting as good as we can possibly get for our next game.”

Warsaw now faces the Elkhart Lions, whom they squeaked by with a strong third quarter one week ago in their 58-55 regular season finale.

Krebs feels his Tigers, now sporting an 18-5 won-loss record, have their work cut out for them over the next two days of practice before Friday’s rematch with the Lions.

“We have a lot of work to do,” Krebs said. “I’m proud of these kids. They fought and they battled tonight. If anyone would have told you they knew we would be 18-5 at this point of the season they (would be) lying to you especially when they looked at our (regular season) schedule.”