PORTSMOUTH – What does it take to pick up a quality road non-conference win? An incredibly solid performance from all of your rotation players with just two weeks left in the regular season.
That’s exactly what the Northwest Mohawks (8-11, 2-9 SOC II) were able to do Monday night over the SOC I’s Clay Panthers (12-6, 8-2 SOC I) in a 43-33 win on the Panthers home court.
“I’m very pleased with our girls,” said Northwest head coach Dave Frantz following the Mohawks win Monday night. “I knew we had a little more length and depth than they did, and we’ve been running a lot, so I told them let’s get up and down to try and tire them out.”
Northwest did exactly what Frantz wanted them to do, executing his game plan to a tee. The Mohawks were able to swarm to the ball on the defensive end, get out in transition after defensive rebounds and forced turnovers, and hit their open shots when they needed to.
“We told them that if they started hitting their shots, we were in trouble,” said Frantz. “A lot of times we were face guarding them. I can’t say enough about Haidyn Wamsley. Every game I’ve put her on the toughest player they have, and every game she has responded.”
Wamsley only being a sophomore is one of the biggest surprises when watching the Mohawks. The do it all attitude she has translates on the defensive end as Frantz mentioned, but also on the offensive end where she had a game high 13 points in the Northwest victory.
Another player that was impressive for the young Mohawks was sophomore Val Eury who finished with 11, all of which came in the first half.
“She was shooting lights out tonight,” said Frantz. “She was on. As a team, I can’t say enough. Our whole team played well when I would sub them in, I think I had four freshman in at one point tonight. We still make young mistakes, but we’re still learning and that’s what these games are for.”
Northwest’s highest lead of the game came in the early third quarter when they held a 32-17 advantage over Clay. Despite the Panthers best efforts and outscoring the Mohawks 16-11 over the last quarter and a half, Northwest came away with a ten point road win over the second place team in the SOC I.
With two wins in three days, (Saturday at Eastern Pike), Northwest is trending in the positive direction towards the .500 mark. Yet, with games still to play against three of the top five teams in the SOC II, there are still challenges that lie ahead for Frantz’ bunch.
“Valley on Thursday, as well as Minford and Oak Hill left on the schedule,” said Frantz. “That’s the good and the bad of playing in the SOC II, there’s some good teams and some good coaches. But we’re still a young team. We have one junior in the program, and three seniors, one of which starts. This season has been invaluable in that aspect. At the same time, that doesn’t mean we’re working for next year because these seniors, Sky Patty, Sydnie Jenkins, and Makayla Boehm, and we want to win it for them.”
Clay was led in scoring by Cam DeLotell who finished with a team high 11 points, nine of which came from behind the arc.
With the seeding for sectionals and district tournaments happening this Saturday, Frantz is hoping his team can learn from their back to back road wins by continuing to progress as tournament time approaches.
“I told our girls to be happy with the win, there’s no such thing as an ugly win,” said Frantz. “Clay is a quality team that has some quality players, and we need to use this as a learning point. We got up big and then we made some bad decisions, little things that we need to work on. We’ll go back and look at the film, talk things over, and work to improve for the next time we’re in this situation.”
Northwest: 15-13-6-9 – 43
Clay: 10-7-8-8 — 33
Northwest: 17 FG, 4 3PT (Wamsley 2), 5/11 FT. Scoring: Wamsley 13, Eury 11, Potts 8, S. Jenkins 5, Patty 2, A. Jenkins 2, Lewis 2
Clay: 11 FG, 5 3PT (DeLotell 3), 6/10 FT. Scoring: DeLotell 11, Je. Warnock 10, Ja. Warnock 7, Munion 3, Gatti 2
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT