A Grim Tale
Mohawk (53) Vs. Neshannock (34)
By Andrew Petyak
New Castle News

The likelihood of a perfect season for the Neshannock High boys basketball team turned grim last night.

Lucas Grim to be exact.

The Mohawk guard scored 19 points as the Warriors put the visiting Lancers in the loss column for the first time, 53-34, in WPIAL Section 2-AA action.

“It feels good. It’s always good to get a section win,” Grim said. “Everybody had a good game. It was a team effort. We just ran our offense. We played hard on defense and made shots.”

Mohawk (2-1 section, 3-3 overall) and Neshannock (2-1, 6-1) traded baskets in the first half, eventually settling on a 20-20 tie going into the break.

In the second half, Grim and the Warriors’ defense took over. Mohawk’s Vince Menichino scored eight of his nine points in the third quarter as the Warriors outscored the Lancers, 14-5.

“We just did a better job of rebounding the basketball in the second half and limiting second chance opportunities,” Mohawk coach Rob Fadden said. “Defensively, I thought we had five guys on the floor who were all on the same page and did a good job.

“That was a huge win for us. You have got to take care of your home court in this section if you want to get in the postseason. I wouldn’t call it a statement game. It’s way too early in the year to have statement games. We knew what we were getting into when Neshannock came in here. They’re going to battle and compete like they always do.”

Unforced errors and turnovers in the third quarter created a hole that the Lancers couldn’t crawl out of in the fourth.

“They just came and kicked our rear ends,” Neshannock coach John Corey said. “I tip my hat to them. They played a great defensive game. I can’t say it any better than that. They dug in and they got the stops defensively. They made things difficult for us.

“We had about 10 keys to getting the victory tonight. We probably did about two of the 10. That’s not going to cut it.”

Ernie Burkes tallied a team-high 19 points for the Lancers with seven coming in the fourth quarter. Burkes was frequently pitted against Grim in a battle between two of Lawrence County’s best.

“Lucas Grim is a good player. We knew that coming in,” Corey said. “We knew we needed to find a way and have some guys dig in and really guard him hard. We didn’t do it. We didn’t make their lives as hard or as difficult as we set out to do. That makes for an easy win for them.”

Grim also was 8 for 8 from the foul line for the game and added a 3-pointer in the first half.

“We know what we’re getting from Lucas every night,” Fadden said. “He brings so much energy to what we do.”

Mohawk’s Saivon Watt notched a season-high 12 points with two crucial 3-pointers.

“Saivon stepped in and he played a nice game,” Fadden said. “This is the best game he’s played of the year. Hopefully, he can continue to get confidence and build off that.”

(Email: a_petyak@ncnewsonline.com)
Game Scoreboard
Mohawk 13 7 14 19 0 53
Neshannock 11 9 5 9 0 34
Box Scores
Ernie Burkes 5 7-8 19
Matt McKinney 1 0-0 2
Tyler Haswell 1 2-4 3
Matt Seltzer 0 0-2 0
Marcus Giangiuli 0 0-0 0
Jim Medure 1 0-2 2
Frank Fraschetti 1 0-0 3
Ethan Moose 2 0-0 4
Totals: 11 9-16 34

Tyler Rader 0 0-0 0
Lucas Grim 5 8-8 19
Saivon Watt 5 0-0 12
Vince Menichino 4 1-2 9
Travis Giardina 1 1-2 3
John Hartzell 0 0-0 0
Ryan Sager 2 4-4 8
Jonathan Grim 1 0-0 2
Totals: 18 14-16 53

NESHANNOCK 11 9 5 9 — 34
MOHAWK 13 7 14 19 — 53

3-point goals — Neshannock 3 (Burkes 2, Fraschetti 1); Mohawk 3 (Watt 2, L. Grim 1).
JV score: Neshannock 41, Mohawk 35; High scorer: N — Jim Medure 14, Ethan Moose 13. M — Tyler Rader 14.
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