Mohawk 57, Shenango 48
Mohawk (57) Vs. Shenango (48)

Huddled with his team after a run-and-gun first quarter with Shenango High, Kevin Wrona was pleased.

And that was after seeing his Mohawk boys give up five wide-open 3-pointers.

The coach’s reasoning was simple: Most teams to experience that are on their way to getting blown out.

Not last night.

The Warriors took every punch the Wildcats threw, and landed some big blows of their own, in a 57-48 WPIAL Section 2-AA win on the road.

After allowing seven field goals in the first quarter, Mohawk gave up just six the rest of the game — each one a 3-pointer.

Wrona expected the Wildcats (1-3 section, 7-5 overall) to pound it inside to Rich Gaston and Mike Murcko early and was surprised to see so many threes go up.

“We packed the paint and it caught us off guard a little bit early,” Wrona said. “He definitely made the adjustments.”

The Warriors (4-0, 6-1) did enough on offense, but their defense is the biggest reason they won.

After a Ryan Tanner 3-pointer cut Mohawk’s lead to 32-28 midway through the third quarter, Shenango didn’t score another field goal (or even get a good look) until Bobby Gwin’s trey with 3:03 left in the game.

In between hoops is where the game was won.

There was reserve forward Dan Powell’s one-handed rebound and putback to put the Warriors up seven early in the fourth.

There was Chase Frederick running the fast break and finding Justin Shaffer for a layup and a nine-point lead.

Then came Matt Lorello, who was 2 for 7 from the line before, nailing a pair to give his team a 40-29 lead with 4:44 left.

Powell was especially important last night. He only scored four points, but teamed with Lorello and Michael Henry to hold Gaston (10 points) and Murcko (scoreless) in check. He also took two charges — both in the last three minutes.

“When we huddled up after the game I went right to Dan Powell,” Wrona said. “Those charges were big.”

Bryan Chieze (13 points, three 3-pointers) and Tanner (15 points, five 3s) had baskets in the last minute to make it interesting, but Mohawk went 13-for-16 from the foul line down the stretch to seal the win.

“We made them when it counted,” Wrona said.

Lorello led the Warriors with 16 points and added seven rebounds. Cory Nesbitt added 15 points, Shaffer had eight and Frederick chipped in with seven points and eight boards.

Mohawk is tied for the section lead with Riverside, a 61-58 winner over Summit Academy last night.

If you told Wildcats’ coach Bob McQuiston before the game that his team would hit 11 3-pointers, he probably would have been pretty confident.

But they don’t look as impressive when the stat sheet reads 13 for 50 from the field.

“I don’t know ... I have no answers right now,” McQuiston said in reference to his team’s shooting.

“We came out on fire but we hit that cold spell.”

Shenango has lost three straight section games and must turn it around to remain in playoff contention.

At this point, the Wildcats are not thinking about playoffs.

Making a shot would do just fine.
Game Scoreboard
Mohawk 18 7 9 23 0 57
Shenango 19 3 7 19 0 48
Box Scores
Field Goals Attempted Foul Shots Made Foul Shots Three Points Total Points Fouls
#21 Cory Nesbitt5650150
#23 Chase Frederick165070
#32 Matt Jura121030
#3 Justin Shaffer332080
#4 Matt Minteer000000
#41 Dan Powell122040
#44 Matt Lorello6940160
#5 Michael Henry200040
Brian Chieze3743130
Rich Gaston2960100
Andrew Watson200260
Ryan Tanner5005150
Mike Murcko000000
Jesse Noca021010
Rick Ferrari000000
James Vournous000000
Bobby Gwin100130
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