Mohawks Stumble at Home Against Harrisburg
The Piggott Mohawks ended 2013 with an emotional win prior to the Christmas break, as the Tribe rained a barrage of three-point baskets on East Carter County en route to the consolation final of the Clarkton Holiday Tournament. The win was a sweet one as it gave Mohawk head coach Dave Reynolds a victory over his alma mater in his first opportunity to coach against his former team, and the former classmate now at the helm for the Redbirds.
But, Friday night Reynolds may have felt a bit of déjà vu, as the Harrisburg Hornets visited PHS and launched their own aerial assault from three-point range--riding it to a 62-60 conference win over the Tribe. The junior Mohawks also fell in their contest, as they dropped a 38-24 decision.
Friday night's contest with the Hornets was actually the second meeting of the year for the two teams, as the Mohawks had pounded Harrisburg 67-42 on Dec. 12 in the Pre-Holiday Tournament at Westside for a non-conference win. This whipping likely stuck in the minds of the Hornets, as they came out hot and looked as if they'd spent Christmas break working on their jump shots and preparing for the Mohawks.
Behind the hot shooting of Brayden Honeycutt and Aysen Lamb, the visitors jumped out early on the cold-shooting Tribe and ended the first quarter with a 20-13 lead. The Mohawks responded with better defense in the second quarter, and outscored the Hornets 16-15 in the period, as the first half ended with Harrisburg on top 35-29.
The third quarter was a good one for the Tribe, as they came out of the locker room and battled back into the contest with a good inside-outside attack. The Mohawks also had their success from beyond the three point arc, knocking down five 3-pointers on the game--all by different players. With strong inside play by Trevor Grubb and Nick Harris, and good outside play from Austin Murray and Brayden Brewer, the Tribe battled their way back into the contest.
As the third quarter drew to a close Harris hit his only 3-pointer of the contest at the buzzer and the game stood tied at 48-48 going into the final frame.
In the fourth quarter the Mohawks and Hornets swapped the lead several times, as neither squad could gain an advantage. Both teams were also productive at the free throw line, as the Mohawks converted on 9 of 14 free throws while Harrisburg was even better at 8 of 10 from the charity stripe.
As time ran out the contest was truly up for grabs, but the Hornets managed to hold on to a two point lead as the final buzzer sounded.
Murray led all scorers with 20, including 5 of 6 from the free throw line on the night. Meanwhile, Grubb finished with 12, while Harris and Brewer had 9 points each in the loss. Both Lamb and Honeycutt finished with 12 points each for the Hornets, with all of Honeycutt's points coming on 3-point baskets.
With the loss the Mohawks fall to 6-7 on the season, and 1-2 in 3-3A conference play.
The junior Mohawks dropped their game to the Hornets last Friday, as both teams looked to shake off the rust from the holiday break. In the early going neither team could find the bottom of the basket, as the contest stood scoreless well over halfway through the first quarter.
But, the two teams finally began to awaken late in the first and the Hornets jumped out to a 7-5 lead.
The winter doldrums continued in the second quarter, as the two squads only generated 13 points between them in the frame. As a result, the Hornets took an 15-10 lead into the locker room at the half.
The junior Mohawks, behind the outside shooting of Josh Lyman and the inside presence of Bret Fuller, battled their way back into the game in the third quarter and played even with their visitors.
But, down the stretch the Mohawks went cold while the Hornets looked to their post man, Malik Versie, as he scored the bulk of his 16 points late en route to the 38-24 victory.
Versie led all scorers on the game, while Lyman paced the Tribe with 12, Fuller finished with 5 and Peyton Mann had 3 points. As a team the Mohawks attempted only 5 free throws, converted on 3 of the attempts. Meanwhile, the junior Hornets made 5 of 10 free throw attempts.
With the loss the junior Mohawks fall to 2-7 on the season, and 0-3 in conference play.
Both the junior and senior Mohawks hosted the Hoxie Mustangs in conference action Tuesday evening, and split the pair with the junior boys posting a lopsided win. Details may be found in the Jan. 15 edition of the CCTD.
The Tribe will be back on the hardwood of the PHS gym this Friday, Jan. 10 as they host the Earle Bulldogs for this season's basketball homecoming game. The homecoming court and attendants will also be introduced prior to the senior high contest.
The Mohawks also have three conference sets scheduled the following week, as they'll visit Rivercrest on Monday, Jan. 13 then Corning on Tuesday, Jan. 14. They will close out the week with a visit to Manila on Friday, Jan. 17 to take on the Lions.