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Stonewall Jackson’s Warren cracks All-Met Watch list

One fresh face on this week’s All-Met Watch list is Stonewall Jackson senior Darren Warren. A 6-foot-4 guard who’s averaging 24 points per game this season, Warren has knocked down an area-best 38 three-pointers for the Raiders. (DeMatha's Quinn Cook is next with 33.)

During Stonewall Jackson’s most recent victory -- a 74-61 home win over Franklin County this past Saturday -- Warren made six threes, 8 of his 10 free throws and scored a season-high 36 points. In 11 games thus far, Warren had led his team in scoring every time. On seven occasions, he's scored the most points on either team.

“He’s just a tremendous shooter,” Stonewall Jackson Coach Marcus Lawrence said. “When he’s going like that, he’s real difficult to guard.”

Sixteen of those points came in the first quarter, as Stonewall Jackson built a 21-14 lead after one. Later, as Franklin County outscored Stonewall Jackson, 19-7, to take a five-point lead into halftime, Warren helped the Raiders weather a bit of a slump by scoring 12 of his team’s 18 points in the third quarter.

“He gave us a big lift against Franklin County,” said Lawrence, whose team lost six of its first eight games but has stabilized itself at 5-6 thanks to the Raiders' current three-game winning streak. “He really gave us a lot of energy early, and when we were low he kept us going.”

The success has been somewhat expected for Warren, who has been able to slide over into a more comfortable role as the team’s shooting guard thanks to the emergence of freshman point guard Brandon Chauca (7.3 ppg).

Through the first 10 games of the season, opposing defenses didn’t throw a lot of wrinkles Warren’s way, Lawrence said. But after he caught fire in the first quarter against Franklin County, the Eagles started to show a box-and-one look that the 10th-year coach expects to continue.

He also drew double-teams every time he took over the point for Chauca.

"They’re starting to stack the defenses,” Lawrence said.

Warren began his career at Stonewall Jackson, averaging just over 11 points per game as a freshman starter in 2006-07. But following that breakout season, Warren transferred to Paul VI, where he put up 7 points per game in the WCAC.

After transferring back to Stonewall Jackson for his junior season, Warren averaged 16.5 points per contest and was a first team All-Cedar Run District selection -- one of three All-District picks for the Raiders, along with classmates Morgan Winbush and Brown Dixon.

“We were very happy to get him back last year,” Lawrence said. “This year, he’s playing with a lot of poise.”

That poise has generated college interest, with UNC-Wilmington, Delaware State, Hampton, Howard and Virginia State all making an effort to catch Warren’s eye. He also has a standing offer from the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff (UAPB), according to Lawrence.

For now, though, Warren and his teammates face the task of battling Osbourn and Battlefield for the Cedar Run title.

Battlefield (5-5) is 5-1 since the return of Jamie Robinson (17.3 ppg), Blaine Mason (6.7 ppg) and Bo Revell (5.5 ppg) from football commitments. Osbourn, which boasts three talented sophomore guards, had won seven of 10 before a 70-56 loss to Stonewall Jackson on Friday, during which Warren had a game-high 19 points.

By Jason Mackey  |  January 12, 2010; 8:32 AM ET
Categories:  Boys' Basketball , Northwest Region , Stonewall Jackson  
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