Lady Lancers edge Mohawk at the buzzer
Neshannock (39) Vs. Mohawk (37)
By Corey J. Corbin
New Castle News

Another game, another thriller for the Neshannock High girls basketball team.

The visiting Lady Lancers needed a Regan Moorhouse buzzer-beating putback to edge WPIAL Section 2-AA rival Mohawk 39-37 last night just three days after nipping Laurel.

“It was a big nailbiter from a coaching standpoint,” Neshannock coach Luann Grybowski said. “Part of becoming a great team is being able to come from behind. Both nights we came from behind to win close games. That prepares you for games down the road.”

Moorhouse’s buzzer shot came off a Tayler Grybowski desperation 3-pointer in the waning seconds of the game.

“We held the ball until there was 12 seconds left,” said Luann Grybowski, who doubles as Tayler’s mom. “(Madison McHale) was to go through a double-staggered screen, but when Erin (Warvell) came through, Mohawk had switched and she couldn’t turn the corner to get the ball to Maddie, so she gave it to Tayler. Tayler was looking into the post and she didn’t have anyone on her because of the switch on the screen. I yelled ‘shoot’ because time was running out. Regan got the rebound and put it back in. There was no one near her, because two people had run out on Maddie.

“Sometimes, it’s just meant to be.”

Mohawk coach Mike O’Lare said the defensive plan on that final play was to keep it out of McHale’s hands.

“We were trying to keep it out of her hands,” he said. “Tayler was out of options, so she threw it up. We were thinking overtime at that point, because we thought it would hit the rim and the clock would run out. It didn’t hit anything and (Moorhouse) put it back in. An airball is a hard thing to rebound, especially when it comes right at you.”

The Lady Lancers (7-0, 15-0) went up 37-35 on a free throw each from Cassidy Burrelli and Tayler Grybowski, but Samantha Carr drove to the basket and was fouled with 36 ticks left in the game.

Carr, who paced Mohawk (5-2, 11-2) with a team-14 points, calmly sank both freebies to knot the score at 37.

“It’s really disappointing, because our kids really battled,” O’Lare said. “A loss like this doesn’t diminish the effort we put in. I feel bad for our kids. Someone has to win the game. We just came out on the wrong end. It’s just hard to swallow.

“We played really hard. We made three defensive mistakes in the fourth quarter and all three were offensive rebound putbacks that we lost our box-out on.”

Mohawk grabbed 11-5 after the first quarter, but Neshannock trimmed it to two points in the second before Carr nailed a 3-pointer from the corner to hand the Lady Warriors a 21-16 lead entering the break.

“I think they were up by seven at one point,” Luann Grybowski said. “They really outplayed us in the first half. It was hard fought and well played game. Their kids played hard and our kids played hard.”

Neshannock limited Mohawk to just 16 points in the second half and started attacking the basket more to get itself back into the game.

“We rebounded exceptionally well in the second half,” Grybowski added. “We played much better defense and didn’t give up any easy baskets. I told them at halftime he had to go off the dribble more and do different things.”

The Lady Warriors limited McHale to a season-low six points, although she still went over the 1,000-point scoring mark for her career. McHale, who now has 1,003 career points, also had four assists and three steals.

“The hardest job in our section is to guard her,” O’Lare said. “Aliya (Gage) did a great job on her. We hounded her all night and chased her all around the gym.”

Burrelli had nine points, eight rebounds and four steals, while Tayler Grybowski tacked on eight points, eight rebounds and four steals.

“Everyone stepped up,” said Luann Grybowski, who noted her team made just 14-of-42 field goals and committed only 10 turnovers. “Maeley (McHale) played some big minutes. Stephanie Paras hit some big shots. Regan was in foul trouble, but stayed clean in the second half. She played great defense.”
Game Scoreboard
Neshannock 5 11 12 11 0 39
Mohawk 11 10 8 8 0 37
Box Scores
Stephanie Paras 2 0-0 4
Cassidy Burrelli 3 3-6 9
Erin Warvell 2 0-0 6
Tayler Grybowski 3 2-5 8
Madison McHale 2 1-2 6
Regan Moorhouse 1 0-0 2
Maeley McHale 1 2-2 4.
Totals: 14 8-15 39.

Jaki Bender 2 0-0 4
Holly Duncan 1 1-2 3
Samantha Carr 4 4-4 14
Melissa Verlotte 1 2-2 5
Aliya Gage 4 3-3 11
Ashley McConnell 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 12 10-11 37.
NESHANNOCK 5 11 12 11 — 39
MOHAWK 11 10 8 8 — 37
3-point goals — Neshannock 3 (Warvell 2, McHale 1), Mohawk 3 (Carr 2, Verlotte 1).
JV score: Mohawk 27, Neshannock 24. High scorer: N — Stephanie Paras 9; M — Ashley McConnell 8.

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