Mohawk’s 18-point run dooms Neshannock
Mohawk (65) Vs. Neshannock (56)
By RON PONIEWASZ JR.
rponiewasz@ncnewsonline.com

One big run made the difference for the Mohawk High boys basketball team.

The Warriors scored 18 consecutive points during a seven-minute stretch in a 65-56 WPIAL Section 2-AA victory over Neshannock last night.

Mohawk (6-1 section, 9-5 overall) maintains a 1 1/2-game lead over Summit Academy (5-3, 8-8) for second place.

“We were 5-1 in the first half, but we’re starting over,” Warriors coach Kevin Wrona said. “We want to take it one game at a time.”

Trailing 21-20, the Warriors closed the first half on a 12-0 run over the final 4:01. The run continued to open the second half with six points, pushing the advantage to 38-21 with 5:31 left in the third stanza.

“Defensively, we played with a little bit more energy,” Wrona said. “It wasn’t anything we did fancy, they just missed some shots but we got out in transition and that’s the way this team likes to play.”

Neshannock committed 13 turnovers, five in the second quarter.

“Sometimes when you meet the enemy, it’s yourself,” Lancers coach Jim Smiley said. “We turned the ball over and we turned it over in crucial situations. I really think that has been a bugaboo of ours all year.

“You have to give Mohawk credit, they took advantage. ”

Matt Lorello had seven of the 18 points during the run, including a dunk in transition.

Bryce Kauffman finally broke the spurt with a pair of foul shots with 5:01 to go in the third period and a 38-23 deficit. But the damage had been done.

Kauffman netted nine points, all in the second half, before he fouled out.

“I congratulate him for his effort and I said something to him after he fouled out because he laid it on the line,” Smiley said. “He really gave us a nice spark in the second half.”

Though it looked like the Lancers were toast, they fought back. Both teams were in the bonus after the third stanza, with Neshannock in the double bonus. The Lancers (2-6, 5-10) narrowed the deficit to 44-38, but that’s as close as they got.

“We felt good about it,” Smiley said of the double-bonus situation in the final quarter. “It took us a while to figure out we could play.

“We only had one bad stretch and that was the second quarter. Other than that, it was an even game.’

“It’s hard to coach and hard to play in that situation because there was really never any flow to the game from the halfway point in the third quarter on,” Wrona said. “You have that lead and then the clock stops and they go to the line for two shots.”

Mohawk sealed the victory at the line, going 11 of 17 in the fourth quarter and 23 of 36 for the contest.

Matt Jura, a senior guard, netted a career-high 18 points — 13 in the final frame — for the Warriors, .

“I was feeling pretty confident,” Jura said. “I’ve been feeling pretty good since the Summit Academy game. “It was a good team win.”

Said Wrona, “The way Matt (Jura) played was big. He battled through a knee injury to start the season and he looks like the old Matt.”

Matt Lorello chipped in with 16 markers and a game-best 10 rebounds. Chase Frederick added 15 points and five steals.

Mike Conglose paced Neshannock with 12 points to go with five rebounds. Joey Fontana added 10 markers.

Both teams return to action at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Mohawk hosts section rival Laurel, while the Lancers travel to Freedom for a nonsection encounter.
Game Scoreboard
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT SCORE
Mohawk 12 20 12 21 0 65
Neshannock 12 9 12 23 0 56
Box Scores
Field Goals Attempted Foul Shots Made Foul Shots Three Points Total Points Fouls
Mohawk
#3 Justin Shaffer031010
#5 Michael Henry322080
#21 Cory Nesbitt100020
#23 Chase Frederick31081150
#44 Matt Lorello61040160
#41 Dan Powell221050
#32 Matt Jura5971180
Neshannock
#2 Joey Fontana3331100
#3 J.T. Graham100020
#22 Mike Conglose4422120
#23 Michael Richards100020
#25 Rob Davis100020
#42 Stephen Perrott151030
#44 Ryan Iorio100020
#20 Bryce Kauffman1980100
#33 Bobby Nittinger400190
#50 Eric Bruening142040
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