’Cats wrap up section second-half sweep
Shenango (43) Vs. Mohawk (33)
By Dan Irwin
New Castle News

Shenango didn’t allow Mohawk to slip into the playoffs.

However, if the Warriors are looking for a motto to use next year, the Wildcats might let them use theirs. They’re just about done with it.

Shenango entered the 2011-12 campaign reminding itself of “Unfinished Business” a reference to its near-miss in attempting to reach postseason play a year ago.

This time, the ’Cats ran the table in the second half of WPIAL Section 2-AA play, and locked up sole possession of second place in the conference last night with a 43-33 victory at Mohawk. 

“Last year, our goal was to get in the playoffs and we came up short,” Shenango coach Bob McQuiston said. “We needed one more game, we needed one more game and we just couldn’t get that last win, and our business was unfinished. That became kind of our motto, we gotta finish what we start this year, and we were able to do it.

“(At the) Halfway point, we were 3-3 and at that point I’m thinking, ‘I just want to get into the playoffs.’ The guys sat down and talked about it and said, ‘Let’s win out,’ and they did it.”

Still, with the playoffs ahead, the Wildcats (9-3, 14-7) aren’t finished with their unfinished business just yet.

“Not by a long shot,” McQuiston declared.

Meanwhile, Mohawk (5-7, 10-11)  just missed out on the postseason, much as the Wildcats did a year ago. A Warriors win last night would have given them the section’s fourth and final playoff  berth, and they even could have gone in with a loss had Neshannock not beaten Laurel.

“We knew coming down the stretch we had a couple of must-win games,” Mohawk coach Rob Fadden said. “We thought Riverside was one. We didn’t get it, but then we bounced back and got Neshannock. They were confident coming into tonight, but we didn’t shoot the ball well (36 percent from the floor), we weren’t real strong with the ball — too many turnovers (24 to Shenango’s 12).

“We weren’t finishing inside at all tonight, and on top of that weren’t getting out at the line, so it was like empty possessions because we weren’t getting anything from it.”

Shenango, on the other hand, used a 17-of-25 performance at the charity stripe to offset a 30-26 deficit in scoring from the field. Mohawk was just 3-of-6 from the line.

The Warriors went on a 10-0, third-quarter run to take a 22-20 advantage, but Shenango finished the period with eight unanswered points and never trailed again. Over the final 10 minutes of play, the ’Cats were 15-of-21 at the line.

Jordan O’Hara and Brett Chieze led Shenango with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Jimmy Gerazounis sparked Mohawk with 10.

The game was played in front of a standing-room-only crowd, which Fadden found encouraging.

“It was a playoff atmosphere. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen that many people in this gym,” Fadden said. “Obviously, we would have liked to have been in the postseason, but hopefully things are starting to turn around again.

“We had two bad years, came back with an average year this year and hopefully we can build off that.”

(Email: d_irwin@ncnewsonline.com)
Game Scoreboard
Shenango 6 8 14 15 0 43
Mohawk 2 10 10 11 0 33
Box Scores
Brett Chieze 2 8-11 12
Jordan O’Hara 3 6-6 13
Jeff Williams 2 3-7 7
Mike Linz 3 0-1 6
Greg DePorzio 1 0-0 2
Vinny Fiorilli 1 0-0 3
Dane Gecina 0 0-0 0
Brian Tanner 0 0-0 0
Shaun Conner 0 0-0 0
James Jacobs 0 0-0 0
Josh McCormick 0 0-0 0
Matt Pherson 0 0-0 0
Totals: 12 17-25 43

Lucas Grim 2 0-0 4
Vince Menichino 1 0-0 2
Jimmy Gerazounis 3 1-2 10
Jonathan Grim 4 0-0 9
Mitchell Grim 0 0-0 0
Tim Glass 3 0-2 6
Nick Mastrangelo 0 0-0 0
Casey Irvine 0 2-2 2
John Hartzell 0 0-0 0
Totals: 13 3-6 33

SHENANGO 6 8 14 15 — 43
MOHAWK 2 10 10 11 — 33

3-point goals — Shenango 2 (O’Hara 1, Fiorilli 1), Mohawk 4 (Gerazounis 3, J.Grim 1).
JV score: Mohawk 47, Shenango 25. High scorer: M — Gio Menichino 14.
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