Tribe Poised For Postseason Run

Thursday, February 2, 2017
Ben Holcomb (13) kicks the pass to Cooper Harris during recent Junior Mohawk hoops action at PHS. The Tribe junior team is the top seed from the west in next week's district tourney at Piggott High.(TD photo/Tim Blair)

The Mohawk boys basketball teams have remained busy the past week, dropping a conference game at Walnut Ridge last Tuesday, then splitting a pair of games at Highland and Melbourne Friday and Monday. Tuesday evening they hosted the Hoxie Mustangs in 3A-3 play at PHS, although final scores and stats were not available as of press time. Regular season play continues Thursday night the Tribe will visit Rector, and early next week, Piggott High will be hosting the district junior high tournament.

Walnut Ridge

The Tribe made the trip to Walnut Ridge last week to take on the Bobcats, and suffered a sweep. In the varsity contest the Mohawks came out hot and sprinted to an early lead, as they enjoyed a 13-9 advantage after one. But, in the second quarter the hosts responded, outscoring the Mohawks 22-13 in the frame to take a 31-26 lead into the locker room at the break.

Walnut Ridge extended their lead with a 16-13 advantage in the third, and pushed the lead further in the fourth with a 15-13 quarter lead. In fact, the Mohawks scored 13 points in each of the four frames in taking the loss.

Peyton Mann led the Mohawks with 19, while Brier Staples was also in double figures with 11. Rounding out the Piggott scoring were Trey Gossett with 7, Bret Fuller with 6, Quentin Reeves and Josh Lyman had 4 each and Carrington McDaniel added a free-throw. As a team the Mohawks converted on 13 of 23 free throws, while the Bobcats were 11 of 22 from the line. Pacing the Walnut Ridge offense was Drew Flippo with 25 points.

Junior Team

The Junior Mohawks dropped their game at Walnut Ridge by a final score of 53-31, and were outscored by their hosts in each of the four quarters. Leading the way offensively for the Mohawks was Jackson Henfling with 15, while Michael Palmer finished with 12, Ben Holcomb had 4 and Cooper Harris finished with 2 points.

Leading the Junior Bobcats in the win was Bill Nash, as he led all scorers with 16 points.

Highland

The Mohawks were on the road at Highland Friday night for a non-conference set with the 4A Rebels, and gained a split on the night. The senior boys battled their hosts down to the wire, winning 63-61 thanks to a three point buzzer-beater by Lyman. As for the junior boys, they weren't so fortunate in their contest as they fell 56-42

Coming off the loss at Walnut Ridge the Tribe looked to rebound at Highland, despite losing a lopsided contest earlier in the season at PHS. In the early going it appeared the results may be the same, as the Rebels rode a big first quarter to a 19-13 advantage. But, the Tribe responded in the second frame with strong defense, and outscored their hosts 13-8 in the period as they trailed 27-26 at the halftime break.

The Mohawks came out of the locker room and posted a strong third quarter, as they outscored the Rebels 21-18 in the frame to take a two-point lead into the fourth. In the key third quarter, Reeves scored 10 of his 12 points, while Mann added another 6 of his 15 in the frame.

Late in the contest the Mohawks had their opportunity, with Lyman making the most of the situation.

"They came down and hit a basket to take a one-point lead," Coach Seth Medlen said of the outcome. "I started to call a timeout, but I'm glad I didn't. Josh (Lyman) was in a rhythm and we took it down and he hit the big three-pointer to win the game."

Mann led the Tribe with 15 points, and handed out 11 assists on the night, while Lyman and Gossett both finished with 14 and Reeves was also in double figures with 10. Rounding out the Piggott scoring was Fuller with 8 and Staples with 2. Leading the way for the Rebels in the loss was Tristan Hudson with 21.

Junior Game

The junior Mohawks dropped their game at Highland last Friday by a final score of 56-42. The host Rebels took advantage of good production in both the first and third quarters, in posting the non-conference win.

Scoring by quarters had the Rebels up 22-10 after one, and 32-22 at the break. Highland outscored the Tribe 19-10 in the third to extend the lead to 51-32 with the Mohawks taking the fourth 10-5 to set the final score.

Henfling led the Mohawks with 16, while Ethan Pena' led all scorers with 17 for the hosts. Michael Palmer was also in double figures for Piggott with 14 while Cooper Harris finished with 6 points in the loss.

Melbourne

Monday night the Mohawks made the long trip to Melbourne to make up a game with the Bearkatz which had been postponed due to bad weather.

In the senior boys contest the Mohawks had a good first quarter, as they enjoyed a 21-14 lead after one. But, the Bearkatz responded in the second with a 20-14 frame as the Tribe took a 35-34 advantage into the locker room at the half.

In the second half of play the home team adjusted, and outscored the PHS squad 17-12 in the third and 20-14 in the fourth to set the final at 71-61.

Mann once again paced the Mohawk offensive effort with 17, while Reeves finished with 14 and Fuller and Staples were also in double figures with 10 each. Rounding out the Piggott scoring were Gossett with 6 while Brett Burns and Lyman had 2 points each.

As a team the Mohawks were a dismal 6 of 14 from the charity stripe, while the Bearkatz converted on 11 of 21 attempts. Melbourne was led in scoring by Jared Chaney with 23 while Cody Morgan finished with 20.

Junior Game

The junior Mohawks came up short in their game at Melbourne, dropping a 39-37 decision to the young Bearkatz. The loss came despite a strong first half, which saw the Mohawks lead 14-11 after one, and 23-19 at the break.

The two teams played dead-even in the third, as each squad scored 8 points in the frame. But, in the pivotal fourth quarter the host squad outscored the Tribe 12-6 to set the final score.

On the night the Mohawks were 10 of 21 from the free throw line, while the Bearkatz converted on 8 of 15 shots. Leading the Tribe in scoring on the game was Palmer with 11 while Henfling finished with 10.

"If we can take care of business with Hoxie Tuesday night the junior boys should be the number one seed from the west in our conference tournament," Medlen said of his young squad. "We should be okay, I think we're going to surprise some people."

The Mohawks will be hosting the 3A-3 junior district at PHS with the first round of games set for Monday and Tuesday evening. The semi-finals will be played Wednesday with both championship games set for next Saturday, Feb. 11. The junior Mohawks will be playing either Riverside or Rivercrest, as they come out of the west district as the number one seed, with their first round game set for 7 p.m. on Monday. With a win they'll play the winner of the Manila-Corning game at 5 p.m. on Wednesday with the boy's final set for 2 p.m. Saturday.

As for the senior boy's, they'll visit the Rector Cougars Thursday evening, and Friday evening the Melbourne Bearkatz will visit PHS to complete the home-and-away series. The final conference game of the year for the senior Mohawks will be played next Tuesday, Feb. 7, as they visit Corning. On Friday, Feb. 10, the Tribe will mark senior night at PHS with another set with the Rector Cougars.

The senior district tournament will be played the following week, and is being held at Osceola High School.

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