Mohawk turns back Shenango
Mohawk (48) Vs. Shenango (43)

The Mohawk High boys basketball team stole a win from Shenango last night.

The Warriors forced 22 turnovers to rally for a 48-43 victory in a WPIAL Section 2-AA contest on the Wildcats’ home floor.

“This was a big win for us on the road,” Mohawk coach Kevin Wrona said. “Any time Mohawk and Shenango get together it will be physical and it was (last night).”

It’s the fourth straight loss for the Wildcats.

Shenango’s downfall started with about two minutes left in the game. The Wildcats led 39-36, but turned it over with 2:02 remaining.

Matt Lorello cashed in a field goal with 1:48 to play to close to 39-38. Rich Gaston gave Shenango a 41-38 buffer with a bucket in the lane with 1:27 left.

However, the action would be heavily dominated by Mohawk (5-0 section, 11-2 overall) the rest of the way. Matt Minteer committed a steal and Lorello’s basket down low gave the Warriors the lead for good at 42-41 with 1:02 remaining.

“We went to one of our zone presses with (Michael) Henry up at the front,” Lorello said. “He has such long arms and he gets a deflection every time.

“We were able to pressure them and they made some turnovers.”

Shenango (2-3, 5-7) turned it over once again with 59.2 left and Henry buried two freebies two seconds later for a 44-41 advantage. From there, Mohawk closed the scoring with four free throws and Gaston’s layup with one tick left capped the scoring.

“Those were big foul shots that Michael knocked down,” Wrona said. “We needed them and he calmly made both of them; that’s tremendous senior leadership.”

Lorello recorded 12 of his team-high 18 points in the fourth period. He was 6 of 9 from field to go along with seven rebounds.

“I played pretty bad the first three quarters,” Lorello said. “I wasn’t playing good defense. The fourth quarter I was able to get the ball and get some shots to fall.”

Said Wrona of Lorello, “I can’t say enough good things about him. He’s a self-made player. What you see is the result of tremendous hard work; in season and out of season.”

Jake Grim was next with 17 markers on 7-of-14 shooting. He got into foul trouble in the third quarter, picking up his fourth foul with 2:14 to play in the stanza. Grim was pulled for the remainder of the quarter and sat the first half of the final frame.

“Jake’s been playing well for us,” Wrona said. “The foul trouble hurt us a little bit, but we were able to get him back in the game when we wanted.”

Shenango led most of the way. The hosts trailed just once in the first half at 19-18 before Bobby Gwin drained a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left in the half to give the Wildcats a 21-19 lead at the break.

Grim’s solid defense helped Mohawk get off to a strong second-half start. With the score knotted at 21, Grim committed two straight steals and converted them both into layups for a 25-21 advantage.

“Grim is a good player, he makes hustle plays,” Shenango coach Bob McQuiston said. “He stripped us twice right off the bat and all of a sudden we’re down by four.”

Mohawk built a 28-25 buffer after three periods and stretched it to 31-25, its biggest lead of the game, before Shenango mounted a comeback.

Gaston led all scorers with 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting. He also pulled down six rebounds. Gwin was next with 10 markers.

Mike Murcko, who was averaging 17.5 points a game, was held to just seven.

“Gaston is a big-time player and he’s been doing it for a few years now,” Wrona said. “He did nothing unexpected.

“I wish we could have kept him down a little more than that. It’s hard to keep Gaston and Murcko both down.”

Mohawk and Shenango both return to action at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in section play. The Warriors will host Riverside and the Wildcats will travel to Laurel.
Game Scoreboard
Mohawk 8 11 9 20 0 48
Shenango 11 10 4 18 0 43
Box Scores
Jake Grim 7 1-2 17
Matt Minteer 0 0-2 0
Michael Henry 1 2-4 4
Dan Mioni 1 5-6 7
Matt Lorello 6 6-6 18
Jordan Sager 1 0-0 2
Colin Bredl 0 0-1 0
Zach Beatty 0 0-0 0
Totals: 16 14-19 48

Brian Herb 0 0-0 0
Bobby Gwin 3 2-2 10
Chris Grant 1 0-0 3
Mike Murcko 2 3-4 7
Rich Gaston 7 5-8 19
Dave McCowin 2 0-1 4
Brett Cassella 0 0-0 0
Jordan Hill 0 0-0 0
Aaron Grymes 0 0-0 0
Totals: 15 10-15 43

MOHAWK 8 11 9 20 — 48
SHENANGO 11 10 4 18 — 43

3-point goals — Mohawk 2 (Grim 2), Shenango 3 (Gwin 2, Grant 1).
JV score: Mohawk 41, Shenango 39. High scorer: M — Cody Searfoss 9; S — Aaron Grymes 14, Joe Colavecchia 10.
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