McDERMOTT – The Northwest Lady Mohawks, in their season-opening 53-31 non-league win over Clay, proved exactly why opponents should be weary in their approach to facing them.
The Lady Mohawks’ length, as well as their ability to shoot from outside, proved too much for Clay to handle in both teams opening game of the 2019-20 girls basketball season.
Northwest (1-0) started Saturday afternoon’s game with a strong 22-5 first quarter over the Lady Panthers (0-1), a margin the Dave Frantz-led Lady Mohawks wouldn’t look back from.
“We preached all week and even right before the game that we wanted to get up in them defensively,” Frantz said following Saturday’s season-opening win. “I told them we wanted to see intensity. We have some more depth this year so I was able to go to the bench and let our girls go full-speed the entire game. Very pleased with our man-defense. We helped off each other, our hedging was there. That was one of our better defensive games, and Clay had some good athletes out there. Very proud of our girls.”
Northwest’s fast paced start which saw a 17-point Lady Mohawk lead was aided by junior Valerie Copas’ 12 first quarter points while senior Keirah Potts contributed eight in the first eight minutes.
By game’s end, Potts would finish with a game-high 16 points followed by Copas’ 15.
Although Northwest established an early lead, Clay was determined to fight back.
In the second period, the Lady Panthers outscored Northwest 11-4 to trail Northwest 26-16 at the half. Clay was led at the break by Jaelyn Warnock’s 12 first-half points.
In the second half, Northwest would extend their lead back out to 19 points by the end of the third quarter, 40-21. In fact, in the first two minutes of the third period, Northwest doubled their point total from the entire second quarter (8 to 4).
The Lady Mohawks would win the fourth by a margin of 13-10 to claim the season’s first victory 53-31 over Clay.
“Val (Copas) started early and when she gets hot, she can hit. She was very good offensively for us,” Frantz said. “That’s the hardest Keirah (Potts) has played since I’ve been coaching her. If she can play with that intensity every game, then she can be a difference maker every night for us. Kloe (Montgomery) did a great job rebounding for us, need to work on her finishing at the rim, but those are fixable things. Haidyn (Wamsley) was excellent for us defensively; At halftime (Jaelyn) Warnock had 12 of their 16 points, we switched Haidyn on her and she did a great job of guarding one of the better players in the area.”
Junior Haidyn Wamsley finished with eight points in the Northwest win followed by sophomore Kloe Montgomery’s eight, Audrey Knittel’s three, Ava Jenkins’ two, and Reagan Lewis’ one.
After Warnock’s team-high 14 points, Clay was paced by Kat Cochran’s eight, Kelsey Fowler, Megan Bazler, McKenzie Loper, and Shaley Munion who each finished with two, and Sophia Gatti’s one point.
Northwest begins SOC II play by travelling to Oak Hill Monday, November 25th in their attempt to knock-off one of the preseason favorites in the SOC II.
Clay will regroup before hosting Paint Valley Tuesday in non-league play.
“We just want to work on our consistency,” Frantz said. “Playing every second of every minute for the entire game. The last three minutes of the second quarter when we had some different rotations in there, we lost our man on the defensive end a couple of times. Very pleased with how we looked today, but we go into Monday against a very tough Oak Hill team. I want us to be able to take that intensity, on both ends of the court, that we showed today and build on it.”
Clay – 5 11 5 10 – 31
Northwest – 22 5 13 13 – 53
Clay – 12 FGs (4 3’s), 3/7 FT. Scoring: Warnock 14, Cochran 8, Fowler 2, Bazler 2, Loper 2, Munion 2, Gatti 1
Northwest – 19 FGs (3 3’s), 12/17 FT. Scoring: Potts 16, Copas 15, Wamsley 8, Montgomery 8, Knittel 3, Jenkins 2, Lewis 1
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved