Mohawks Sweep County Rivals, Celebrate Senior Night
The Piggott Mohawks ended the regular season on a three game winning streak, including a 19-point senior night spoiler at Corning and an exciting senior night victory at PHS over Rector last Friday.
Earlier in the season Corning visited the Mohawks and pounded their hosts. Last Tuesday the Tribe completed the home-and-away series with the talented Bobcats and returned the favor, thumping the Bobcats in front of a large senior night crowd.
"Brier Staples came out and started off our first quarter strong, and got the team fired-up by scoring 10 straight points," Coach Seth Medlen said of the contest. "We got the lead and they could never pull any closer than eight points the rest of the game, and we beat them by nearly 20."
Behind the strong first quarter by Staples, and a good defensive effort, the Mohawks enjoyed a 21-7 lead entering the second. In the frame they continued to extend the advantage, pushing the score to 35-16 by the halftime break.
"I felt Peyton Mann did an amazing job of controlling the game and his team," Medlen added. "He did a great job of distributing the ball to his teammates."
Following intermission the Bobcats, who haven't been tested much this year, adjusted and outscored the Mohawks 16-6 in the third, as the cut the Piggott lead to nine points, at 41-32.
But, the Tribe responded in the fourth quarter, outscoring their hosts 25-15 in the frame, as they won the contest 66-47.
"Everyone contributed in the win," Medlen surmised.
Coming off the bench to lead the team in scoring was Josh Lyman with 15 points, including a 6 for 7 night at the free throw line and two three-point baskets. Also in double figures were Trey Gossett with 13 and Staples with 12 points. Rounding out the Mohawk scoring were Quentin Reeves with 8, Bret Fuller with 7, Peyton Mann with 6 and Brett Burns with 5.
"Reeves had a strong game, and had 18 board. Bret Fuller also had a monster game, he didn't score a lot but he played a strong game-rebounding, defending and altering plays," Medlen added. "Lyman played big, and hit several key free-throws down the stretch and Brett Burns played great defense and also hit some big free-throws."
Leading the Bobcats in scoring in the loss was Cole Woolard with 13 points, and as a team Corning was 16 of 22 from the free throw line while the Tribe converted on 21 of 34 attempts.
"I just can't say enough great things about the young men on this team," Medlen concluded. Everyone contributed and this is absolutely a great group of young men."
For the second time in eight days, the Piggott Mohawks and Rector Cougars squared-off in non-conference high school action Friday night. And, as it had played out the previous Thursday, the home team won as the Tribe took the contest 69-64 in their senior night contest.
The previous week the Cougars had torched the Mohawks from outside, on Friday it was the opposite as the Rector squad could find no answer to the Tribe's inside game.
After wrapping up senior night activities for the class of 2017, the Mohawks got down to business and got off to a strong start. Brier Staples knocked-down 7 of his 17 points on the night in the first frame, with senior Peyton Mann adding two three-pointers, as the host team jumped to a 19-13 lead after one.
Cody Ails answered with a pair of three's in the second, along with a trey and free-throw from Sam Simmons, as the visitors responded and took the quarter 19-17, giving the Mohawks a 36-32 halftime advantage.
Following intermission, the Mohawks continued to work the ball into the paint while the Cougars once-again turned to the outside shot. Coming out of the break the Tribe fed the ball into Bret Fuller, who nailed an inside shot for two of his six points on the night. Rector's Kirk Beshears and Ails both added three-pointers in the frame, while Reeves finished with eight points in the period for the Tribe. The two-point advantage for the Mohawks in the quarter, 15-13, gave them a 51-45 lead entering the fourth.
In the second half, Piggott's Mann fouled out of the contest, whistled for a handcheck just moments after picking up his fourth foul, but before Coach Seth Medlen could send in a substitute. "I was trying to get him out of the game when he picked up that fifth foul," he offered. But, the remaining players rallied and continued to maintain the lead as the half continued.
As the fourth quarter progressed, the Mohawks continued to go to the free-throw line, making just enough of their shots to maintain the lead. Reeves added 7 of his game-high 25 points in the frame for the Tribe, helping preserve the win.
Late in the quarter the Cougars were forced to foul, and with less than 30 seconds to play Beshears fouled-out. The Mohawks countered with free-throws by Gossett and Josh Lyman down the stretch. Max Ford scored 7 points late, including a three-pointer at the buzzer to set the final score.
Along with Reeves' 25 points, the only other Mohawk in double figures was Staples with 17. The Cougars had four players score in double figures, led by Beshears with 17, Ails with 15, Simmons with 12 and Easton Tracy with 11. Rounding out the Rector scoring were Ford with 7 and Kade Hardin with 3. Also scoring for the Mohawks were Gossett with 8, while Mann, Bret Fuller and Lyman had 6 each and Brett Burns had a free-throw off the bench.
As a team the Mohawks converted on 10 of 22 free-throws, while the Cougars were an efficient 15 of 19 from the line.
I give Piggott a lot of credit, they played a lot better than they did over at our place," Cougar Coach Matt Mills observed. "I thought the difference in the game was that they pounded us inside. We had a hard time keeping it out of the paint, and they did a good job of finishing in the paint--and they got it in there."
Despite notching the win, Medlen noted he felt the Tribe could have done better, especially at the charity stripe. "We missed a ton of free-throws, but they made them when they counted," he added. "Right there at the end we did a good job of taking care of the ball, and that's all I can ask for--it was a good team effort."
Unlike the previous meeting the Cougar's perimeter attack faltered in the second half, thanks in part to the Mohawk defense.
"They did a good job of defending the three point line, and to me it's hard to get in a rhythm when you can't stop them on the other end," Mills surmised.
The Cougars didn't go home empty-handed as they did win the "B" contest, prior to the senior night activities. The highlight for the home crowd was a three-point buzzer beater by senior manager Caleb Higgins, as he got the chance to dress-out for the game.