Lady Mohawks in FNB Invitational

Thursday, January 21, 2016
Lady Mohawk Braelyn Rhodes shoots free throws during last week's home game with Manila.(TD photo/Tim Blair)

The Piggott Lady Mohawk senior squad took part in the First National Bank Invitational Tournament at Corning High School late last week, beating Malden in the first round then falling to Naylor and Doniphan. The Tribe will be back in action Thursday as they travel to Rivercrest to take on the Lady Colts.

Malden

The Tribe drew the Lady Green Wave in the first round of the FNB tourney, and took the contest by a final of 44-33. Jumping out to a 15-6 lead after the first, they enjoyed a 25-14 advantage at the break and were up 32-24 at the end of three.

Leading the way was Braelyn Rhodes with 14, while MaKalia Beck was also in double figures with 12, Grayson Murray finished with 8, Devyn Staples had 5 and Colby Crossfield finished with 3. Benford was top scorer for Malden with 11.

Naylor

In the second round the Tribe drew Naylor, and dropped a 57-52 decision despite leading at the break. The Tribe hung with the Lady Tigers, last year's state runner-ups, early and the two teams were tied at 12 after one. But, Naylor took the second frame 15-6, and enjoyed a 27-18 lead at the break. They stretched it to a 42-30 lead going into the fourth quarter, and despite a late charge by the Tribe held on for the five point win.

Crossfield had the hot hand from beyond the arc for the Mohawks, hitting five three-point baskets en route to a 20 point night. Rhodes and Staples were also in double figures with16 and 11 respectively, Beck finished with a pair of free throws and Emilee Seegraves came off the bench and hit a trey.

As a team the Lady Mohawks converted on 8 of 14 trips to the free throw line, while Naylor capitalized on 14 of 26 chances at the charity stripe. Callie Pickrell led the winners with 30.

Doniphan

Moving into the third place game, the Mohawks faced the Donettes of Doniphan on Saturday and fell 47-38. Poor shooting in both the second and third quarters plagued the Tribe, as they dropped the non-conference game.

Quarter leads saw the Mohawks on top 14-11 after one, and ahead 20-19 at intermission. But, Doniphan outscored the Tribe 12-5 in the third quarter, and 16-13 in the fourth, to set the final. The Donettes also enjoyed an advantage in free throws on the game, converting on 12 of 23 attempts while the Mohawks visited the charity stripe 13 times, converting on 7.

Rhodes was the only Mohawk in double figures with 24, while Beck finished with 9, Crossfield had 3 and Murray finished with 2. Top scorer for the Donettes was Paige Eddington with 15.

"We played well, we were right there with Naylor and they're a very good team," Coach Chase Halbrook said of the team's performance. "I think we were a little worn down from the Naylor game when we played Doniphan, but we hung with them in that game, too."

He noted the squad is still in the thick of the conference battle, despite a few losses. "For the most part we were right there, a few more baskets and we could have easily been in first place," he observed. "We just need that big win to push us over the top-I know they've got it in them."

Following the weekend action the Tribe now stands at 10-6 on the season, and 2-3 in conference play. Thursday night the Lady Mohawks will visit Rivercrest, a team which narrowly beat them in mid-December, at PHS. On Monday they're slated to visit the Hoxie Lady Mustangs.

Based on the weather forecast the Rivercrest game is in jeopardy, and will likely be rescheduled.

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