Tribe Competes in Bernie Invitational
When Coach David Reynolds first came to Piggott he sought to instill the hard-nosed, man-to-man style of play he was accustomed to as a high school player in Southeast Missouri. In an effort to expose the Tribe to this style of play, and better prepare them for the conference schedule to follow, the Mohawks have participated in tournament play at several SEMO schools the past few years. This trend continued this past week, as the Mohawks participated in the Bernie Invitational at Bernie High School.
As the sixth seed in the eight team field, the Mohawks drew the Campbell Camels as their first round opponent and dropped a 54-50 decision. Sluggish play early, combined with a big second half for Campbell, doomed the Mohawk's efforts and sent them into the consolation bracket.
Leading the way for the Tribe was Brayden Brewer with 17, with all but one point coming in the second half. Meanwhile, Quinton Mauldin and Nicholas Harris were also in double figures with 11 and 10, while Jason Bowman paced the Camels in their season opener with 14. Rounding out the Piggott scoring were Logan Dixon and Beau Jett with 5 each while Peyton Mann finished with 2.
Moving into the consolation bracket, the Mohawks took on the Holcomb Hornets on Thursday evening and battled to a 75-68 victory.
The two teams came out strong in the first quarter, with the Hornets edging out a 17-15 lead after one. But, the Tribe stepped up the defensive pressure in the second frame, and took the period 18-6. With time running out in the first half, Dixon tried to set the tone for the remainder of the game, hitting a long three-point-basket from just inside half court in front of the Holcomb bench.
But, the Hornets responded with a 21-18 advantage in the third quarter to keep themselves in the ballgame. Down the stretch the two teams swapped baskets, and played even at 24-24 in the fourth to set the final score.
Harris had the big game for the Tribe with 23, including a 5 for 6 performance at the free throw line in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, Brewer had 15, and was 7 for 8 at the charity stripe including a perfect 4 for 4 in the fourth. Dixon finished with 9, Mauldin and Noah May had 8 each, Quentin Reeves finished with 7 and Mann and Carrington McDaniel each had a free throw.
McClendon led the Hornets with 17, and as a team the Mohawks converted on 23 of 33 free throws in the win.
After dispatching with the Hornets, the Mohawks moved into the consolation championship on Friday evening against the Risco Tigers. With a total of 10 Mohawks scoring on the night, the Tribe outdistanced Risco by a final of 70-52.
The Tigers took an early lead in the contest, and led 16-13 at the end of one. But, the Mohawks responded with a 20-11 second quarter, and took a lead they would never relinquish. The Tribe then went on to outscore the Tigers 23-13 in the third and 14-12 in the fourth to take the win.
"We went 10 or 11 deep against both Holcomb and Risco, and it got to their legs after awhile," Reynolds noted of the wins. "We wore them down. The guys looked a lot better as the tournament went on."
Leading the way in the win for the Mohawks was Mauldin with 15, while Brewer and Harris were also in double figures with 11 each. Rounding out the team effort, Jett had 9, Dixon finished with 7, Reeves had 5, Spencer Hardin scored 4, May finished with 2 and Brett Burns had 2 points off the bench as well.
The Mohawks now stand at 5-4 on the season, after beating Trumann 69-65 Tuesday in the Pre-Holiday Tournament at PHS. With the win they advance to take on top-seeded Nettleton at 8 p.m. Thursday in one of the semi-finals. A win against the Raiders would put them into the championship game, set for 7:30 Saturday night. With a loss to the Wildcats, the Mohawks would move into the consolation bracket, and get a bye to the final, set for 1:30 p.m. Saturday at PHS.
The Mohawks will return to regular season play next Tuesday, Dec. 15, as they're slated to visit the Rivercrest Colts. They'll play their last game before the Christmas/New Years break next Friday, Dec. 18, at Hoxie as they visit the Mustangs in 3A-3 conference play. The first game of 2016 will be played Tuesday, Jan. 5, as the Maynard Tigers visit PHS for a non-conference set.