Mohawk girls bow out of playoffs
Canevin (63) Vs. Mohawk (27)
Feb 22, 2012
By Joe Simon
New Castle News

AMBRIDGE — No win — or loss — was going to define the 2011-2012 season for the Mohawk High girls basketball team.

That was the message Lady Warriors coach Mike O’Lare passed on to his team at the beginning of the year, and Mohawk stuck with it — through good and bad.

“Every time we had a win or a loss this year, we kept saying we’re just going to let that be a chapter in the book we’re writing,” O’Lare said. “A loss, we’re going to close that chapter and move to the next one, and a good win, we’re going to do the same.”

The book came to an end last night as Bishop Canevin cruised to a 63-27 win in the first round of the WPIAL Class AA playoffs at Ambridge High.

The Lady Crusaders (19-4) used an array of defenses to smother Mohawk (18-6). They outscored the Lady Warriors, 32-6, in the second and third quarters, holding them scoreless in the third period. Bishop Canevin’s main scheme was a full-court press defense that gave Mohawk problems most of the game.

“I don’t know if it was their press as much as it was them switching their defense almost every possession,” O’Lare said. “It’s hard to prepare for something like that.

“We struggled reading what they’re doing at times — either going too quick or too slow, allowing them to set up — and we struggled to get shots off.”

Making matters worse was Bishop Canevin star guard Erin Waskowiak, a 5-foot-10 junior who’s received Division I scholarship offers from Drexel and Villanova. She scored 17 of her game-high 25 points in the first half. She also played a big role in the Lady Crusaders’ defense, which was constantly tipping passes, making steals and swarming any defender bringing the ball upcourt. Mohawk was held to 10 of 39 shooting, including 4 of 17 from 3-point range.

“We knew they had a couple kids who could shoot 3s,” Bishop Canevin coach Tim Joyce said. “And we figured once we could get out to them and take that away, we’d be OK, because we have some long kids. We’re not real big, but we’re long and usually we’re pretty good at getting out to shooters.”

Mohawk’s Shelby Brown matched Waskowiak for most of the first quarter, scoring eight points, including two 3s, to keep the Lady Warriors within striking distance at 19-10, but then was held scoreless for the rest of the game. Mohawk stayed alive at 29-16 until a late 6-0 run by Bishop Canevin pushed the lead to 35-16 at halftime.

The Lady Crusaders quickly put the game out of reach in the third quarter. They hit a basket on their first possession, made a steal and blocked a shot, scoring on both occasions, to bump their lead to 41-16 in a matter of seconds.

“Those first few minutes of the third quarter really kind of determined the second half,” Joyce said. “If we gave up six points right off the bat, then maybe it’s a different game.”

The loss brought an end to a bounce-back season for Mohawk, which rebounded from last year’s 7-15 mark to record its first playoff victory in 11 years, beating Washington, 28-24, in a preliminary-round game on Friday. The Lady Warriors’ revival came with just two seniors, Taylor Yarletts and Ciara Sackin, and with many expecting Mohawk’s success to come next year because of its talented junior class. O’Lare said his team didn’t want to wait.

“Those seniors wanted it this year, and they brought the juniors up to speed maybe a little bit quicker than they anticipated, or anyone did,” O’Lare said. “We knew we’d be good, but we didn’t know, early on, that we’d have the year we did have. It’s a credit to those seniors. They wouldn’t let us wait till next year.”

Yarletts and Sackin may have gone out with a loss, but they walked off the court for the final time to a standing ovation as Mohawk fans, who packed one side of the bleachers, stood and applauded.

“Friday night we got that win, and we weren’t going to let that win define our season, and we’re not going to let this loss define our season,” O’Lare said. “Ninety-nine percent of teams are going to lose that last game. It’s a matter of when. Today’s just another chapter in that book we talked to the kids about, and when you look at the whole book, it’s a pretty darned good book.”

Nightly Roundup
Feb 22, 2012 Nightly Roundups
Game Scoreboard
Canevin 19 16 16 12 0 63
Mohawk 10 6 0 11 0 27
Box Scores
Katie Hoover 2 0-0 4
Melissa Verlotte 0 0-0 0
Holly Duncan 0 0-0 0
Taylor Yarletts 1 1-2 3
Ciara Sackin 0 0-0 0
Shelby Brown 2 2-4 8
Lucia Fee 0 0-2 0
Devon Giancola 2 0-0 6
Hannah Morrow 3 0-0 6
Jaki Bender 0 0-0 0
Cara Trotter 0 0-0 0
Samantha Carr 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 10 3-8 27.

Carly Forse 8 1-1 17
Erin Waskowiak 11 2-3 25
Celina DiPetro 4 1-1 11
Johnie Olkosky 2 0-0 5
Amy Calabrese 0 0-0 0
Becca Olkosky 0 0-0 0
Caroline DeFrank 2 1-2 5
Carrie Bunevich 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 27 5-7 63.

MOHAWK 10 6 0 11 — 27
B. CANEVIN 19 16 16 12 — 63

3-point goals — Mohawk 4 (Brown 2, Giancola 2), Bishop Canevin 4 (Waskowiak 1, DiPietro 2, J. Olkosky 1).

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