Girls Basketball: Mohawk Trail finishes strong to beat Turners Falls

Staff Writer
Published: 1/13/2020 10:39:06 PM
Modified: 1/13/2020 10:38:20 PM

TURNERS FALLS — It took three quarters for the Mohawk Trail girls basketball team to find its rhythm on offense Monday against Turners Falls, but when it did, it was tough to stop.

It was a total team effort for the Warriors, as four players scored baskets in the final eight minutes and Mohawk outscored the Thunder 16-7 in the quarter en route to a 42-37 independent victory.

“The biggest thing tonight is we were more patient on offense,” Mohawk Trail coach Larissa Harrison said. “We weren’t throwing the ball away and we saw the whole floor. Tonight, we gave it to the post when it was there and hit shots when they weren’t.”

Turners (2-8) held a 30-26 lead going into the fourth, but the Warriors (2-7) composed themselves and were able to get the ball inside for easy buckets to get back in the game. 

Stella Clark got things started with two easy buckets inside before Mya Lesieur knocked down a deep shot to knot the game up at 32. 

A free throw by Turners’ Morgan Dobias put Turners back on top 33-32, but a 6-0 run by Mohawk put it in control. The run came from a Grace Ward layup, a Lesieur jumper and another Clark short jumper and suddenly the Warriors led, 38-33. 

The Thunder fought their way back, as back-to-back buckets by Hailey Bogusz and Taylor Greene got them within 38-37 with two minutes to go in regulation.

Those would be the last buckets Turners scored in the game however, as Mohawk’s defense locked down and forced multiple turnovers due to its defensive pressure.

“One of the biggest factors was we always play better in man,” Harrison said. “We had more energy doing that tonight. When we’re in zone, we start to just hang out but we’re much more engaged when we’re in man.”

While the Thunder defense was playing tough, their offense got two more buckets to seal the win. Grace Poplawski got to the rim for an easy finish and with 41 seconds to play, Lesieur drained a mid-range shot, putting the Warriors up, 42-37.

A Turners miss on the other end led to a long rebound by Poplawski, who dribbled out the clock to seal the win.

“They kept themselves in the game the whole time,” Thunder coach Ed Marvell said of his team. “We didn’t get rebounds, we didn’t stop them and balls didn’t go in when we shot them. It was a tough one. We’re so young, we’re still trying to find a way to win.”

Lesieur finished with a team-high 15 points while Ward and Poplawski joined her in double-figures with 10 each. Ward also had 15 boards. 

Lesieur’s buckets came away from the rim, as her outside shooting opening things up for Clark and Ward on the inside.

“Usually I’m not on that much but I was on today,” Lesieur said. “We were really pumped up today and everyone was positive. That helped a lot.”

Harrison hopes that moving forward, her team can get contributions from multiple players like they did on Monday.

“Everyone stepped up,” Harrison said. “That makes us hard to defend. That’s how it should be. Inside-out game, get it in the post.”

Turners eighth-grader Taylor Greene had a stellar offensive night, scoring a game-high 14 points, eight coming in the third quarter. Freshman Kendra Campbell added nine points in the loss. 

Both teams struggled finding their footing in the first half, with Mohawk holding an 8-7 lead after the first quarter. The Thunder took a 16-13 lead into the half. 

The offense picked up after the half, with Turners outscoring the Warriors 14-13 in the third.

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