Lady Warriors move into second place
Mohawk (44) Vs. Neshannock (38)
Alyssa Natale helped the Mohawk High girls basketball team take second place away from Neshannock on Saturday.
The Lady Warriors went on an 18-0 run in the middle of the second half to take command and hold on for a 44-38 WPIAL Section 2-AA win over the Lady Lancers.
Natale recorded a team-high 16 points for the Lady Warriors.
“That was big,” Mohawk coach Mike O’Lare said of the run. “We made shots during that stretch and they didn’t; this was a big win for us.”
Mohawk (7-4 section, 15-6 overall) can secure second place outright at 7:30 p.m. today when it hosts section rival Riverside (7-4, 15-7).
“That’s going to be a huge game for both of us,” O’Lare said. “We hope the Mohawk community comes out to support us against Riverside and in the playoffs, too.
“These girls deserve that support at this point of the season.”
The Lady Lancers (7-5, 12-8) had a shot at nailing down second place, but a 40-38 upset loss to New Brighton (3-9, 9-13) on Friday proved costly. Neshannock, which has lost three straight games, still could have clinched second place with a win over Mohawk.
If Mohawk wins, the Lady Lancers will finish third by virtue of a season sweep of Riverside. Should Riverside prevail, Neshannock will drop to fourth because the Lady Warriors swept Neshannock.
“Obviously you want to win that section title,” said first-year Lady Lancers coach Luann Grybowski said. “But when that title is unattainable, you set your sights on second place. I’m happy with where we are, though.”
Mohawk held a 41-38 buffer with under a minute left when a key 3-pointer clinched the victory.
Brooke Shasteen followed Natale’s effort with 10 points for the Lady Warriors. Meghan Laughner pulled down a team-high eight rebounds to go along with her four markers.
Ericka Warvell tossed in a game-best 18 markers for the Lady Lancers, nine of which came in the third quarter. Warvell added 10 rebounds as well. Caitlin Binder registered seven steals and five boards to go with her two markers.
Chelsea Kauffman, who is averaging a team-high 16.1 points a game, was limited to six markers/ Her lone field goal was the team’s only 3-pointer. Grybowski said Kauffman is playing with a broken rib on her right side.
“She’s a gamer; she wants to be out there playing and she’s giving it all she has,” Grybowski said. “We’re kind of in the same position now that we were in the beginning of the season and that’s because of injuries.”
Said O’Lare, “We really wanted to take away the 3-pointer form Neshannock, particularly Kauffman and Warvell. We didn’t give them too many good looks from out there.”
Mohawk was 17 of 38 from the field, compared to 11 of 50 for Neshannock.
“Shots just aren’t falling for us right now,” Grybowski said. “We want to keep teams under 40 points and we’ve been doing a pretty good job of that. But shots that were falling for us earlier in the season aren’t going down now.”