Shenango free throws sink Mohawk
Shenango (49) Vs. Mohawk (43)
By Dan Irwin
New Castle News

These were two teams trying to turn their seasons around.

And for a while, it was easy to see why.

Shenango made just over a third of its field goal attempts in its WPIAL Section 2-AA contest last night against Mohawk and was outrebounded by 14 in the first half. Meanwhile, the Warriors — despite their dominance on the boards — turned the ball over on 23 occasions, 15 times in the first half alone.

The Wildcats, though, found near perfection at the foul line, canning 18 of 20 free throws — including 10 of 11 in the fourth quarter — to break a four-game losing streak with a 49-43 homecourt triumph.

“Obviously, every team practices that,” said Shenango coach Bob McQuiston, whose team was just 14 of 39 from the floor. “And when you’re shooting them you’re always telling the kids, ‘It might come down to free throws. It might come down to free throws.’ The seniors stepped up and made theirs.”

With the game tied at 41-all, Jeff Williams dropped in a reverse layup with 2:07 to go to put the Wildcats ahead to stay. Shenango (3-3 section, 8-6 overall) then got four free throws from Jordan O’Hara and two from Brett Chieze to ice the game. O’Hara’s final pair came with 18.9 seconds left, after Mohawk’s Tim Glass earned a technical foul for his reaction to a steal by Chieze.

Lucas Grim, who had 16 points for the Warriors, contributed Mohawk’s only bucket over the final 120 seconds.

“We struggled in the beginning of the season with free throws,” said O’Hara, who had a team-high 14 points, “but we’ve really been working on it this past week, taking a lot of free-throw shots.”

Mohawk, which now has lost five of its last six after a 5-2 start, got down early, allowing Shenango a 10-2 run that gave the Wildcats a 16-6 advantage after one quarter. The Warriors (2-4, 6-7) then spent the next two periods clawing their way back into the contest, reducing their deficit to eight by halftime and finally pulling even at 30-all when Grim drained a 3-pointer with one second left in the third quarter.

Mohawk would even take a pair of two-point leads in the final stanza — the last time at 41-39 with 3:05 remaining — but the ’Cats’ second 10-2 run of the game turned them away.

Warriors coach Rob Fadden was proud of the way that his team battled back, but believed they simply had put themselves in too big of a hole.

“We’ve got to find a way to put four quarters together,” he said. “There was a minute-and-a-half, two-minute stretch at the end of the first quarter that just killed us. That was probably the difference in the game right there.

“I give Shenango credit. They knew what to do in the first half as far as pressuring us and they took us out of our game.”

McQuiston hopes the win will provide a spark heading into the second half of section play.

“We kind of needed this one,” he said. “We had a couple close ones we lost down the stretch. It’s always good to win a close one, that gives the guys some confidence. We definitely needed it.”
Game Scoreboard
Shenango 16 9 5 19 0 49
Mohawk 6 11 13 13 0 43
Box Scores
Lucas Grim 8 0-1 18
Vince Menichino 1 1-2 3
Jimmy Gerazounis 1 0-0 3
Jonathan Grim 2 0-0 4
Mitchell Grim 1 0-0 2
Tim Glass 4 4-4 12
Nick Mastrangelo 0 0-0 0
John Hartzell 0 1-2 1.
Totals: 17 6-9 43.

Brett Chieze 2 4-4 10
Jordan O’Hara 4 6-7 14
Jeff Williams 3 1-2 8
Mike Linz 3 5-5 11
Greg DePorzio 1 2-2 4
Vinny Fiorilli 1 0-0 2
Dane Gecina 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 14 18-20 49.

MOHAWK 6 11 13 13 — 43
SHENANGO 16 9 5 19 — 49

3-point goals — Mohawk 3 (L. Grim 2, Gerazounis 1), Shenango 3 (Chieze 2, Williams 1).
JV score: Shenango 36, Mohawk 27.

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