MOHICANS FLY THROUGH C-2-NEXT STOP CARRIER DOME-BEAT FABIUS-POMPEY 68-46
Mohawk’s Carson Murphy (33) reacts as the buzzer sounds on tonight’s Class C-2 Championship
Jeff Pexton-MHTS-PGI Photo
The Mohicans, who will cease to exist next season if the proposed Ilion – Mohawk school district merger comes to fruition, dominated the Fabius-Pompey Falcons by a score of 68-46 to claim the Class C-2 crown.
The win propels Mohawk (20-1), the Class C-2 number 1 seed, into the Section III Class C overall championship game Sunday at 11:00 a.m. at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.
The Mohicans will face C-1 champion Beaver River (20-1), which defeated second seeded Tully tonight by a score of 77-58.
On paper, tonight’s match up was supposed to feature a duel between two of Section III’s leading scorers, Mohawk’s Carson Murphy who came in averaging more than 24 points per game and Falcons guard Stewart Wright who averaged 22.
While the Murphy-Wright match up did provide some interesting punches and counter punches from the teams heavy hitters, it was overall height advantage and resultant rebounding superiority of Mohawk that won this game.
That and some outstanding teamwork by the Mohicans throughout the entire contest helped lead Mohawk to the win.
The Mohicans jumped out to a commanding 17-7 lead in the opening quarter to stifle the visiting Falcons.
Mohicans swing man, Mike Santillo, nailed back to back long three pointers and Carson Murphy scored 5 of his 24 points in the first eight minutes to gain the 10 point advantage early on.
Mohawk got some huge rebounds at both ends from Santillo, Murphy and Kainan McCarthy, which propelled the Mohicans transition game.
Mohawk got a huge second quarter effort from McCarthy who pumped in 12 of his 18 points in the second frame to help Mohawk build a 36-18 advantage headed into the intermission.
Fabius-Pompey’s Stewart Wright was held to just five points in the first half, largely due to the Mohicans defensive pressure which forced the junior into some ill-advised shots that were well off the mark.
Meanwhile, Mike Santillo poured in another 7 second quarter points for Mohawk.
At the intermission Mohawk Head Coach Luke Judd, told My Hometown Sports- ESPN Radio 99.1 FM that he was thrilled with his team’s effort in the first sixteen minutes of the contest and that the plan of keeping Stewart Wright in check was working better than he could have expected.
Coach Judd went on to compliment his team’s work on the glass at both ends in the first half and said that if the rebounding advantage held up in the second half, Mohawk would be very tough to come back against.
On the other side of the time line, Fabius-Pompey head coach Matt Rohde, spent a few moments with ESPN – 99.1 FM. He acknowledged that he was going to need a big effort from Mr. Wright in the second half if his Falcons were going to collect their 17th win of the season and make it to the Dome this coming Sunday.
Rohde said that his team would also need to slow things down a bit and make better shot selections in the final sixteen minutes to have a chance to win.
Fabius Pompey started the second half on a bit of a tear, outscoring Mohawk 16-5 in the first five minutes of the third quarter and pulling to within 41-32 with 3:02 remaining in the third.
Coach Judd called a timeout to settle his Mohicans down and get them back to basics. Following the timeout, the Mohicans, ranked #7 in the most recent New York State Class “C” poll, went on a run of their own, outscoring F-P 8-2 over the final three minutes to push the advantage back up to 49-34 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Mohawk run to end the third quarter had a definite demoralizing effect on Fabius-Pompey, who seemed to force things offensively in the early going of the final quarter.
A few Falcons miscues led to Mohawk fast breaks and three Carson Murphy slam dunks that sent the huge Mohawk crowd into oblivion, sensing a trip to the Dome on Sunday.
Mohawk would outscore Fabius Pompey 19-12 in the fourth quarter, en route to a convincing 68-46 win and a trip to the overall Class “C” title tilt.
Mike Santillo, Carson Murphy and Kainan McCarthy combined to score 65 of Mohawk’s 68 points tonight, pouring in 23, 24 and 18 points respectively.
Murphy also pulled down 7 rebounds and handed out 7 assists for Mohawk. Kainan McCarthy was also good off glass with 7 boards.
Stewart Wright scored 14 points for Fabius Pompey, which ended a fine season, which included the school’s first league championship in 28 years, at (16-5).
Following the game, ESPN Radio 99.1 FM – MHTS was the very first to visit with Mohawk’s Murphy, Santillo, McCarthy and Coach Judd in the midst of a tearful celebration at midcourt.
Coach Judd quickly thanked the entire Mohawk community for the tremendous support of this team and many others along the way and said he couldn’t wait to get to the Dome.
Carson Murphy said that the road to tonight’s banner started when he picked up a basketball in the fourth grade and he hasn’t stopped working toward this goal since then.
For Mike Santillo, this win represented a total team effort and some unselfish basketball. Santillo went on to describe his feeling as overwhelmed when he thought about stepping onto Jim Boeheim Court this coming Sunday.
Mohawk 68 Fabius-Pompey 46
Fabius-Pompey 7 9 18 12 46
Mohawk 17 19 13 19 68