Sophomore keys Riverside’s win over Mohawk
Mohawk (50) Vs. Riverside (59)
Jan 08, 2008

NORTH SEWICKLEY TOWNSHIP — Kevin Wrona did everything but order his players to carry a picture of Mason Marion around with them.

He knew that containing Riverside’s 5-foot-10 sophomore guard would be crucial, and he wanted to make sure they got the message before last night’s showdown between the top two teams in WPIAL Section 2-AA.

Unfortunately for Mohawk, Wrona was right.

Marion scored 17 points, making 5 of 7 three-pointers — all at critical times, in Riverside’s 59-50 win over the visiting Warriors.

Riverside (6-0, 14-1) took over sole possession of first-place while Mohawk (5-1 section, 7-5 overall) slipped to second followed by Shenango and Summit Academy, who are 3-3 and tied for the last playoff spot.

“We watched them so many times on tape and (Marion) is their main threat,” Wrona said. “He killed us.”

If locating Marion was the main priority for Mohawk, it fell apart quickly.

Marion made three 3-pointers early in the game — one off a designed screen, one off an inbounds play and the other off a kickout in the corner — as the Panthers built an 18-9 lead.

“They know everything we do, so the execution was big tonight,” Riverside coach John Rorick said.

The Warriors, meanwhile, were running into a brick wall on offense.

For every set play, a Panther was in their face. For every contested shot that went up, a green and white jersey was there for the rebound. There were no transition hoops and every possession was a grind.

“We knew it was coming,” Wrona said of the defensive pressure. “We didn’t handle it.”

Mohawk went on a quick 7-0 run to start the third quarter, cutting the deficit to 30-26 on Matt Lorello’s layup.

It would be the last bright spot for the Warriors.

Jason Kolesar’s putback made it 32-26, then Kolesar hit a three from the corner and was fouled — all of a sudden it was 36-26.

Kolesar had game-highs in points (22) and rebounds (13). At 6-foot-6, he and Nico Baldelli (10 points, seven rebounds) gave Lorello and Michael Henry all they could handle in the post.

“Kolesar came ready tonight, and Nico played tremendous,” Rorick said.

Mohawk got as close as 40-31 late in the third, but Marion hit a short jumper and another three for a 47-32 lead.

Chase Frederick had eight points in the fourth quarter to make it interesting, but this one belonged to the Panthers as soon as Marion’s first three swished through.

Lorello scored 16 points to go with eight rebounds to lead the Warriors. Frederick followed up with 13, with Henry adding six points, six blocks and five rebounds.

The entire tempo of the game might have changed if Mohawk did better than 2 of 12 at the free-throw line. Wrona likes to use a full-court press after made free-throws.

“That has got to improve,” Wrona said of the foul shooting. “It’s been our Achilles Heel all year and it’s going to get us.”

The Warriors will get another chance to stop Marion on Feb. 2 when the teams meet for a rematch at Mohawk.
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Mohawk 9 13 10 18 0 50
Riverside 15 15 17 12 0 59
Box Scores
Field Goals Attempted Foul Shots Made Foul Shots Three Points Total Points Fouls
#3 Justin Shaffer221160
#5 Michael Henry320060
#21 Cory Nesbitt220040
#23 Chase Frederick5412130
#44 Matt Lorello8200160
#41 Dan Powell100020
#32 Matt Jura100130
Jake Wickline200040
Mason Marion6105170
Shane Rusnock300060
Mike Vucelich000000
Jason Kolesar8851220
Nico Baldelli4420100
Adam Smith000000
Justin King000000
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