NEAR MISS FOR MOHAWK AS BEAVER RIVER CLAIMS CLASS C CROWN
Mohawk’s Paul Joyce #15 defends as #20 Zach Steiner looks for room to roam!
Somehow you knew it would come down to this. Mohawk’s all-time leading scorer, senior sensation Carson Murphy, wearing his someday likely to be retired #33 jersey headed up court at the Carrier Dome with the ball in his hands with the fate and fortunes of his team riding on the last shot in Sunday’s 68-65 Class C Final loss to Beaver River.
When Murphy’s last second, wing and a prayer shot, skimmed off the front of the rim the final horn sounded and Murphy and his #33 slumped to the floor on bended knees as he lamented the shot that got away and went awry.
There is no guarantee that even if the shot had somehow found its way home that the Mohicans (20-2)would have taken down the resilient Beavers (21-1) from Beaver River high school.
The well coached, Frontier League team came to town on a mission and headed home winners and Section III Class C overall champs at the expense of a shocked and dejected bunch of Mohicans.
It was a battle of two Class C #1 seeds, two state ranked teams as well, Mohawk # 7, Beaver River # 5, a battle that warranted all the pregame attention it got.
If you arrived early at the Carrier Dome, in time to see both teams warm up, you would snicker and sneer and tell yourself that there was no way this small in stature, reed thin, roster could run with the Mohicans and match them point for point and rebound for rebound.
You would especially amusing if you have been witness for the post season run the Mohicans had been on.
We saw up close and personal what the Mohicans top three offensive leaders could do on the big stage.
Carson Murphy, Kainan McCarthy and Mike Santillo accounted for sixty five of the team’s 68 points Mohawk netted in their Class C-2 title tilt against Fabius-Pompey last week at Herkimer County Community College.
Coach Lynn Petzoldt and his staff devised a plan to take away McCarthy and Santillo out of the offensive equation.
Mission accomplished as Santillo scored just 3 points and McCarthy was double teamed on a regular basis yet, still managed to come up with 13 points.
The Beavers let Murphy get his, he was sensational scoring 38 points, but made sure the rest of the Mohicans were held in check.
Mohawk had the game’s first run and led 16-6 after scoring twelve straight points in the first quarter and appeared ready to leave the befuddled Beavers in the Dome dust.
Murphy, had 8 points in that run and added an alley-oop dunk for effect after Beaver River broke the run to put the Mohicans up 18-11 after the opening eight minutes.
Murphy’s dunk energized an already enthusiastic Mohawk crowd. It also got Beaver River’s attention.
Mohawk trailed by 10 points at halftime and fell behind by as many as 19 before rallying.
Mohawk’s early momentum suddenly started to slip away as the Beavers seemed offended at the way the first eight minutes of action went.
The brash Beavers put their stamp on this one when they laid 29 big points on Mohawk to outscore them 29-6 and seemed to be playing a lossey-goosey brand of basketball that bothered Mohawk.
Four long range three’s two by Widrick, one by Zach Stiener and another by Tarron Farney seemed to send a loud and clear message Mohawk’s way.
Beaver River scored 10 straight points and opened its largest lead at 47-28 on another Sam Widrick 3-pointer, his fifth three ball in six attempts just 3:05 into the second half.
Widrick and Alexander Hall are two names Mohawk fans would soon like to forget. The dynamic duo did way too much damage to dash Mohawk’s dreams.
Widrick was Mister outside scoring 26 points to lead his team to title town.
Hall a defensive specialist, with the wing span of a Condor also was great on the offensive side of the court scoring 12 points of his own.
Sam Steiner netted an even dozen points himself to lead the well balanced Beavers attack.
The Mohicans finally were able to slow the Beavers down and Murphy scored the final 8 points of the third quarter to cut their 17 point deficit to 9, 54-45.
Murphy did what great players do scoring 10 points in the fast moving third quarter to give his team a chance for the furious fourth quarter comeback.
His 14 point fourth didn’t hurt the Mohican’s cause either.
Mohawk fans were feeling it and seemed ready for a fourth quarter run that would lead their team to glory.
The Class C-2 champs got close enough to take one shot to tie the game at the end. Zack Steiner made one of his two foul shots with 5.1 seconds on the clock and Mohawk, without a timeout, quickly inbounded the ball to Carson Murphy.
Murphy raced across the midcourt stripe and put up a high arching shot from in front of the scorer’s table.
The ball hit the right side of the rim and bounced away as the horn signaled the end of a game and the end of an era that will long live in the hearts and minds of Mohawk fans.
Murphy had eight rebounds, six assists and four blocked shots to go with his 38 points.
Kanian McCarthy scored 13 points and also blocked four shots; he joined Murphy on the Class C tournament’s all-star team.
Paul Joyce had 9 points and four assists and Mitchell Werenczak grabbed six rebounds for coach Luke Judd’s Mohicans.
Beaver River travels to Binghamton High School Saturday to meet Section IV champion Moravia in a regional playoff game. Moravia defeated Watkins Glen 52-41 Saturday.
Mohawk’s all-time leading scorer
546 points this season
Averaged 24.8 points per game
230 field goals this season-10.5 field goals per game
MHTS Notes: Tournament MVP Sam Widrick (Beaver River). All Tournament team: Alex Hall (Beaver River), Carson Murphy (Mohawk), Kainan McCarthy (Mohawk), Dan Morse (Tully), Stewart Wright (Fabius-Pompey). Coach of the Year: Luke Judd (Mohawk).
Beaver River 68 Mohawk 65
1 2 3 4 Total
Mohawk 18 9 18 20 65
Beaver River 11 26 17 14 68
Kainan McCarthy 14