Big fourth quarter keys Riverside win over Mohawk
Riverside (54) Vs. Mohawk (36)
Feb 01, 2008

Beaver Falls. Jeannette. Aliquippa.

Since November, those are the only three teams that most anyone has deemed contenders for the WPIAL Class AA boys basketball championship.
But from what Mohawk High boys basketball coach Kevin Wrona said after his team’s 54-36 Section 2 loss to Riverside at home last night, you might want to add the Panthers to the list.

“With a defense like that, they can beat anyone. It’s a legit, great man-to-man defense,” Wrona said. “Beaver Falls, Jeannette, anyone. They’ll give anyone a game.”

Riverside (12-0 section, 22-1 overall) displayed every quality that makes it a contender in a four-minute span of the fourth quarter against Mohawk (9-3, 12-7).

•Warriors’ guard Chase Frederick hit a 3-pointer from the left wing to cut the Panthers lead to 32-26. It brought the packed Senior Night crowd to its feet for the first time all game.

•Riverside countered immediately with a set play for 6-foot-6 forward Jason Kolesar in the post, who scored and was fouled, 35-26. On the other end, Kolesar blocked a shot, leading to Shane Rusnock’s 15-footer that put everyone back into their seats.

•On the next possession, Frederick answered with a three-point play. But again, Kolesar scored and was fouled. Mohawk forward Michael Henry was called for a technical foul for slamming the ball to the ground after the hoop. Mason Marion made the two foul shots, 42-29.

• Kolesar banked in a foul line jumper, and on the next possession, Jake Wickline came up with a steal at halfcourt and coasted for a layup, 46-29.


“In every clutch situation, they came through this year,” said Riverside coach John Rorick, who saw his Panthers win for the first time at Mohawk in 12 years. “There was adversity, I mean, in front of this crowd, they did a beautiful job.”

After the run, the Warriors got no closer than 50-36.

Mohawk shot only 12-for-46 from the field (26 percent) and committed 22 turnovers — eight in the fourth quarter.

Other than forward Matt Lorello (15 points) and Frederick (10 points), no one else was a factor on offense.

“Their defense made it so tough to even get anything going,” Wrona said.

Kolesar made a case for section MVP consideration, scoring a game-high 25 points to go with a game-high 16 rebounds. Wickline again played tough at the point, scoring 14 points to go with a handful of assists and steals.

Mohawk finishes second in the section. Wrona expects to get anywhere from a 7 to 12 seed in the playoffs, adding “probably closer to 11 or 12.”

Summit Academy (7-5) finishes third, with Neshannock (6-6) rounding out the playoff field.

Riverside is the section champion and is riding a 10-game winning streak since losing to Shady Side Academy in late December. It has the best record of any Class AA school.

Rorick was cautious about speculating where the WPIAL committee would seed his team, but said the Panthers have sent out a strong resume.

“It would be nice to pick and choose, wouldn’t it,” Rorick said, laughing. “Hopefully our record speaks for itself. There are only two other teams that went undefeated in the section (Beaver Falls and Jeannette).”

The WPIAL pairings will be announced at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Embassy Suites in Coraopolis.

Some unlucky coach there will have to find a way to beat Riverside.
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Riverside 12 9 9 24 0 54
Mohawk 12 7 4 13 0 36
Box Scores
Field Goals Attempted Foul Shots Made Foul Shots Three Points Total Points Fouls
Adam Smith000000
Mason Marion144060
Jake Wickline5740140
Jason Kolesar81281250
Justin King000000
Mike Vucelich121030
Nico Baldelli100020
Ryan Ard000000
Shane Rusnock200040
#2 Andrew Brown000000
#23 Chase Frederick3331100
#21 Cory Nesbitt021010
#41 Dan Powell000000
#1 Jake Grim000000
#3 Justin Shaffer100130
#32 Matt Jura200260
#44 Matt Lorello6430150
#4 Matt Minteer000000
#5 Michael Henry021010
#33 Mike Koran000000
#10 Zach Beatty000000
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