Big quarter lifts Mohawk past Laurel
Mohawk (42) Vs. Laurel (35)
The Mohawk High girls basketball team took a big step toward securing a WPIAL Class AA playoff berth last night.
The Lady Warriors seized control in the third quarter and held on for a 42-35 Section 2-AA victory over Laurel.
Mohawk outscored the Lady Spartans 16-9 in the pivotal third quarter to boast a 34-26 lead. The Lady Warriors used 14-2 run to open the third quarter.
“We hit some shots to begin the third quarter; shots were falling for us,” Mohawk coach Mike O’Lare said. “It was a team effort.”
“That’s always been our issue, the third quarter,” Laurel coach Jenn McGarrah said. “If we’re going to lose, that’s when we dig a hole for ourselves.
“I told the girls to come out strong in the third quarter but Mohawk hit a couple of 3-pointers and that really deflated us.”
The loss is damaging to the Lady Spartans’ playoff hopes. Laurel (4-6, 7-10) is in fifth place in the standings. The top four teams qualify for the playoffs.
“Our hopes just got real dim,” McGarrah said. “We’re going to do our best to finish real strong and see where that puts us.”
The Lady Warriors (5-3, 12-5) are on a four-game winning streak and they are a half-game behind Riverside (6-3, 12-6), and Neshannock (6-3, 11-5) for second place.
“We haven’t even brought it up yet,” O’Lare said of the playoffs. “Our goal is to win the section; we’re taking little steps.
“We’re not content with just getting in. The kids expect that. We’ve got to climb up higher in the next couple of weeks.”
Brooke Shasteen netted a game-best 13 points to go along with 11 rebounds for Mohawk and Alyssa Natale chipped in with 12 markers.
Becca Kerr tallied 11 points to lead the Lady Spartans.
Mohawk struggled at the foul line, converting just 8 of its 24 attempts.
“We’ve been shooting a lot more free throws over the last two weeks,” O’Lare said. “You only talk about free-throw statistics when you lose. We made enough to win tonight but they weren’t fantastic.”