McDermott – It was an emotional night at Northwest High School Wednesday evening, as the school celebrated the senior members of the Northwest Lady Mohawks basketball team. Sometimes those emotions can affect the play of an individual or team, which was the case for the Lady Mohawks as they fell to the Greenup County Lady Musketeers.
The first and third quarters were unfavorable for Northwest, as Greenup County outscored the Lady Mohawks by eight points in each quarter, leading to the Lady Musketeers win, 59-43.
Both teams had great starts to the game Wednesday night. Neither team held a lead greater than two points, as both Northwest and Greenup County traded scores until the game was tied 8-8 about halfway through the first quarter.
The Lady Musketeers would take an 11-8 lead with 3:15 left in the quarter, and would never lose the lead from that point.
Northwest would only score one more point in the quarter, while Greenup County added four more points to take a 17-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was completely different from the first for the Lady Mohawks. While Northwest continued to have scoring struggles, they played solid defensively. The Lady Musketeers were held to only five points, but still had a seven point lead at halftime.
Greenup County had another great quarter in the third. Addressing several issues that led them into having scoring problems, the Lady Musketeers outscored the Lady Mohawks by another eight points, 21-13. Six different players for Greenup County found the basket. By the end of the third quarter, Northwest trailed Greenup County 43-28.
Northwest responded once again as they came out of another poor quarter. In the fourth, Northwest hung tight with Greenup County and were only outscored by a single point, 16-15.
Greenup County’s Micah Leslie and Northwest’s Gracie Swavel had fantastic fourth quarter performances.
Leslie scored 11 points in the fourth quarter against Northwest, including two big three-pointers in the early moments of the period. She led Greenup County in scoring, finishing the night with 24 points.
Swavel, a Lady Mohawk junior, scored all seven of her points in the fourth quarter. She was responsible for nearly half of Northwest’s point total in the period.
Haley Valandingham hit double figures for the Lady Musketeers, scoring 11 points.
Northwest had one player reach double figures, senior Alexus Lisath. Lisath finished the night with 10 points for the Lady Mohawks during her final game at the Northwest gymnasium.
“I feel like tonight, with it being senior night and everybody being very emotional kind of threw us off our game a little bit,” Northwest coach Krista Crabtree said. “Shots weren’t falling. It was like there was a lid right on that rim, but you’ll have nights like that. You’ll have off nights, and tonight was an off night.”
Trailing by 10 or more points for the bulk of the second half, the Lady Mohawks never quit trying to cut into, and possibly try to eliminate the Lady Musketeer lead.
“They all just have such a great attitude,” Crabtree said. “They give 110% in practice, and 110% every time we play. They just never give up, and that’s a good thing about coaching this team. Their effort is always there no matter if we’re down 20 or we’re down one.”
Northwest will play the Valley Lady Indians Thursday evening at Valley High School for their last regular season game. Crabtree is excited for the game for several reasons, as it gives very little for her squad to dwell on Wednesday night’s loss, and will be played on the same floor the Lady Mohawks will face the West Union Dragons next Thursday in tournament play.
“We’ve played them before and lost by one in overtime,” Crabtree said. “We know what they have, and we’re very well prepared for them, and we’ll see how they perform.
“I am glad that we’re playing over at Valley tomorrow (Thursday), right before our tournament game, so that gives us a chance to get used to that court. We’ll have back to back games over there, so I think that may give us an advantage.”
While the Crabtree and the Lady Mohawks know they have a date set to face West Union in the tournament, Northwest is still focused on their matchup against Valley Thursday night.
Game time is set for about 7:00 p.m.
Northwest – Lisath 5-0-10, Patty 4-0-8, Breech 3-0-8, Swavel 2-3-7, Baer 2-1-5, Osburn 1-1-3, Hall 1-0-2
Greenup County – Leslie 9-2-24, Valandingham 5-1-11, Miller 4-0-8, Haywood 3-0-6, Zaph 2-0-5, Hall 1-1-3, Mulkey 1-0-2
Three-point field goals – Northwest 2 (Breech 2) Greenup County 5 (Leslie 4, Zaph)
Reach Michael Hamilton at 740-353-3101, ext 1931, or on Twitter @MikeHamilton82.