Mohawk falls to Bishop Canevin
Mohawk (34) Vs. Bishop Canevin (40)
Feb 16, 2016
By Shawn Fox
New Castle News

BRIDGEVILLE – In a little over five minutes, the Mohawk High girls basketball team’s season came undone.

After scoring the first six points of the contest, the Lady Warriors were outscored, 22-2, by fourth-seeded Bishop Canevin over the next five minutes and 20 seconds. That deficit proved to be too big of a hole to climb out of, as 13th-seeded Mohawk dropped a 40-34 decision Tuesday night in the first round of the WPIAL Class AA playoffs at Chartiers Valley High School.

“I thought they played their guts out,” Mohawk coach Mike O’Lare said. “It’s a crying shame one of those two teams had to go home tonight.”

Aliya Gage and Carlee Stelter each buried a 3-pointer in the opening minute to get the Lady Warriors off to a fast start.

Then, the Lady Crusaders got hot.

Powered by a pair of 3-pointers from Kasey Kaczorowski and a three each from Gina Vallecorsa and Lauren Gamble, Bishop Canevin roared out to a 14-point lead late in the first quarter.

“I take the blame for that,” O’Lare said. “We watched film on (Bishop Canevin’s) last six games, and we knew numbers and all of these other things, and we felt our best option was to try to mix up our defenses. We tried to keep them off guard, and they made shots, open shots. That was my fault. I was switching defenses thinking we could get them to think a little bit. But, they didn’t think, they just shot. And they made them.”

Stelter ended Mohawk’s seven-minute scoring drought with a runner as the horn sounded to cut the deficit to 22-10 after one quarter of play.

After Vallecorsa scored on a drive to open the second quarter and push the Lady Crusaders’ lead back to 14 points, Mohawk mounted a comeback.

Erin Giancola, who grabbed nine rebounds in the game, got the run started with a jumper from the foul line. Gage then scored on a drive, and Giancola followed by putting back a missed free throw by Ashley McConnell.

Another inside bucket by Gage drew the Lady Warriors to within six points, 24-18 with 3:37 remaining before the half. Gage finished with a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds, both game highs.

“We went back to our man-to-man (defense) to negate them being able to run their offense,” O’Lare said. “The kids did an awesome job there of switching from man to zone and back again. For high school kids to be able to do that in a playoff game, they did a great job.”

McConnell cut the deficit to five points, 25-20, two minutes later by scoring on a lay-in before Gamble drained a 3-pointer to give Bishop Canevin a 28-20 lead at the break.

Mohawk got no closer than six points the rest of the way, as Bishop Canevin took the air out of the basketball by spreading the floor on offense to run time off the clock.

“That didn’t really surprise me,” O’Lare said. “They’re not a high-scoring team. Once they grabbed the lead, they didn’t feel the need to hurry up and score. We never got them to the point where they felt rushed. We’d get close, but they were still able to slow it down. That’s part of our game, too. We like to slow things down.”

Freshman Shamyjha Price came off the bench to lead the Lady Crusaders with 10 points. Sophomore Brionna Allen added eight points and seven rebounds while also coming off the bench.

The Lady Warriors wrapped up the season with an 18-6 mark. It was the final game for seniors Gage, Giancola and Ashley McConnell. According to O’Lare, that trio will be missed.

“I’m going to remember the three seniors,” the Mohawk coach said. “I’ve coached those kids since seventh grade, through good times and bad times. They left a great legacy for our younger kids to work toward. I couldn’t even get them out of the game tonight to be recognized because they were playing. That was their legacy: they played until the horn. That’s all you can ask from any kid.”

Lady Crusaders coach Tim Joyce was not available for comment following the game.

Bishop Canevin (19-4) will face Neshannock on Friday in the quarterfinals at a time and site to be announced. The Lady Lancers advanced last night with a 58-23 victory over Charleroi.

Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Mohawk 10 10 5 9 0 34
Bishop Canevin 22 4 6 8 0 40
Box Scores
Aliya Gage 4 4-6 14
Erin Giancola 2 0-0 4
Ashley McConnell 1 2-3 4
Makenzie McConnell 1 0-0 2
Carlee Stelter 4 0-0 9
Madison Shiderly 0 1-2 1
Totals: 12 7-11 34

Erin Joyce 1 0-1 2
Kasey Kaczorowski 2 0-0 6
Gina Vallecorsa 3 0-2 7
Lauren Gamble 2 1-4 7
Brionna Allen 3 2-4 8
Shamyjha Price 5 0-0 10
Totals: 16 3-11 40

BISHOP CANEVIN 22 6 4 8 — 40
MOHAWK 10 10 5 9 — 34

3-point goals – Mohawk 3 (Gage 2, Stelter 1), Bishop Canevin 5 (Kaczorowski 2, Gamble 2, Vallecorsa 1).
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