The wait to return is over.
The No. 5 seed Mohawks got solid outside shooting early on and dominant post play all the way through to defeat the fourth-seeded Huntington Ross Huntsmen 58-48 Friday night at Waverly's Downtown Arena to claim a Division III Sectional Tournament.
The victory will put the Mohawks in a district semifinal contest against Zane Trace on Sunday, March 7 at the Convo in Athens.
Northwest trailed 7-0 early in the contest before Chaise Hall hit a 3-pointer to put the Mohawks on the board. Senior Hank Leslie scored four points in that quarter and Kreig Crabtree scored six on a pair of 3-pointers to give Northwest its first lead at 13-12.
The second quarter was a battle with three lead changes, but the Northwest lead at the break was the final
"That was a good 4-5 seed game," Northwest coach Rick Scarberry said. "That's the way they should be. We knew what we were getting into coming in here...I thought we came out a little bit flat and didn't have the energy we really wanted but the kids responded."
In the second half the Mohawks continued their first-half habit grabbing the vast majority of rebounds and looked inside to Leslie for production. Leslie scored 21 of his game-high 29 points in the second half, pulling down 13 rebounds in the victory.
Northwest out-rebounded Huntington 32-19, dominating the glass all the way through.
"We thought we could (dominate) and we didn't front post," Scarberry added. "We played behind so we could get more rebounds that way."
While Leslie led the way scoring, Northwest's Kreig Crabtree scored 15 points. Kenny Crabtree added just three points but had seven rebounds. Hall added seven points for Northwest.
The Huntsmen were led by C.J. Seymour's 12 points.
The victory makes a little bit of history for Northwest, which hasn't made it to the Convo since the late 1990s.
"It's the first time we've been to Athens here in a long time and probably only the third time in school history I think," Scarberry said. "I'm not positive."
Northwest 13 15 16 14 — 58
Huntington 16 9 10 11 — 48
Northwest — Frantz 1 0 2, Blankenship 1 0 2, Kr. Crabtree 5 1 15, Leslie 10 9 29, Ke. Crabtree 1 1 3, Hall 3 0 7. Totals 21 11 58.
Huntington — Deal 3 1 8, Addy 3 0 7, Mitchell 2 0 4, Ray 2 0 4, Seymour 5 2 12, Blankenship 2 0 4, Gragg 4 1 9. Totals 21 4 48.
3-pointers — Northwest 5 (Kr. Crabtree 4, Hall); Huntington 2 (Deal, Addy)
Record — Northwest 9-9
Peebles 70, North Adams 45
Peebles bounced back from a loss in its regular season finale to defeat North Adams 70-45 in a Division III Sectional Final Friday night at Waverly.
Blake Justice led all scorers with 25 points and Eric Collier added 13 points with 14 rebounds. Andrew Seaman added 13 points as well.
North Adams was led by Sam Louden's 16 points.
Peebles will face Valley at the Convo on Monday, March 8 at 6:15 p.m.