NORWALK - Mohawk's offensive prowess and defensive intensity Saturday night was too much for one Seneca East fan as he got sick at halftime near the stands.
It was also too much for the girls basketball team as the Warriors throttled the Tigers, 73-26, in the Division IV Sectional Tournament Final opener.
In the nightcap, Buckeye Central shook its Norwalk St. Paul monkey, downing the Flyers, 42-35, to win the first sectional crown in a decade.
Mohawk (17-4) played outside-in and inside-out, flying out to a 7-0 lead before Seneca East (7-15) scored and followed that with another 9-0 run. By the end of the first quarter, it was 20-5. The second quarter was more of the same as the Warriors stretched the lead to 37-13 by halftime.
"We took a lot of shooting practice (this week) and went over a lot of things in our zone offense and our man offense, working inside-out and passing," Mohawk coach Josh Fortney said. "We had a week to prep for one game so we tried to do as much right as we could. A week helps to prep for one team."
It got worse in the second half. While Seneca East had its best quarter in the third, scoring 12, it trailed 54-25 heading into the final stanza. An 0-of-8 effort from the floor and eight turnovers translated into a 19-1 blowout in the fourth quarter for Mohawk's reserves.
|Division III Sectional|
|Seneca East 26|
|Seneca East (7-15): Lauren Sprenger 3-2-8; Jessica Enders 0-0-0; Alexis Hall 0-0-0; Amy Martin 0-0-0; Camiel Ruffing 0-1-1; Emily Depinet 0-0-0; Brittany Brookes 2-0-5; Alyssa England 0-0-0; Ashton Daniel 4-1-10; Hannah Hahler 1-0-2; Amber Enders 0-0-0; Caitlin Sauers 0-1-1; Jenna Larick 0-0-0. Totals: 10-4-26.|
|Mohawk (17-4): Lynsey Trusty 4-3-13; Sarah Runion 6-2-17; Taylor McClain 0-0-0; Kasey Adelsperger 9-0-18; Jessie Babcock 1-0-2; Ashley Parker 1-0-2; Erika Coldiron 1-0-2; Clara Adelsperger 2-0-4; Candace Lease 0-0-0; Brooke Weininger 1-1-3; Sarah Parker 2-1-5; Liz Runion 2-0-4; Brooke Weinandy 1-1-3. Totals: 30-8-73.|
|Seneca East 5 8 12 1 — 26|
|Mohawk 20 17 17 19 — 73|
|Field goals: Seneca East 10-45; Mohawk 30-60.|
|3-point goals: Seneca East 2-8 (Brookes, Daniel);|
|Mohawk 5-16 (Trusty 2, S. Runion 3).|
|Foul shots: Seneca East 4-7; Mohawk 8-21.|
|Rebounds: Seneca East 33 (Daniel 9, Sprenger 6); Mohawk 38 (K. Adelsperger 12, C. Adelsperger 6).|
|Turnovers: Seneca East 26; Mohawk 8.|
|Buckeye Central 42,|
|Norwalk St. Paul 35|
|Buckeye Central (12-10): Maddie Ehresman 2-3-7; Katie Martin 3-1-7; Brooke Karl 2-0-4; Hannah Heydinger 4-0-8; Kilee Kimmel 0-1-1; Sammi Marcum 5-0-10; Makayla Agin 1-3-5. Totals: 17-8-42.|
|Norwalk St. Paul (11-10): Bella Stoll 3-0-6; Allison Spence 3-2-10; Kirsten Bundschuh 0-0-0; Elise Nickoli 1-0-2; Arlayna Newcomer 0-0-0; Erin Kramer 2-0-4; Kensie Green 0-0-0; Lydia Ott 2-0-4; Allie Fitzgerald 4-1-9; Sabrina Schaffer 0-0-0. Totals: 15-3-35.|
|Buckeye Central||10||7||11||14 — 42|
|Norwalk St. Paul||6||10||13||6 — 35|
|Field goals: Buckeye Central 17-45; Norwalk St. Paul 15-58.|
|3-point goals: Buckeye Central 0-3; Norwalk St. Paul 2-11 (Spence 2).|
|Foul shots: Buckeye Central 8-13; Norwalk St. Paul 3-12.|
|Rebounds: Buckeye Central 34 (Heydinger 10, Agin 8); Norwalk St. Paul 43 (Fitzgerald 13, Kramer 8).|
|Turnovers: Buckeye Central 22; Norwalk St. Paul 21.|
"We put our JV kids in, our subs. Some of those kids, they don't even get the reps when we're in practice and they came this whole week and we're using them, for lack of a better term, as our defense dummies in practice," Fortney said. "So I told those kids to play like they'd normally play. Our JV team had a good year and our subs are good. So I told them to go in there and see what they could do. They deserve it because they came to practice and worked just as hard as the varsity girls the whole week."
Seneca East coach Paul Jones refused to comment after the game.
"It was a pretty good game. We went out and did our game plan," Fortney said. "We played them before and scouted them and broke down what we did before and it seemed to work fairly well, so we made some tweaks and adjustments and rotated people in to keep them fresh. I'm happy with the way we executed and came out. We shot fairly well."
Mohawk had three players in double figures. Kasey Adelsperger was a monster on the block, scoring a game-high 18 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Sarah Runion and Lynsey Trusty served as the outside assault, scoring 17 and 13 respectively, including all of Mohawk's 3s.
The Warriors had just eight turnovers in the blowout and shot 50 percent from the field (30 of 60). The lone blemish was an 8-of-21 effort at the line.
"Free throws down the stretch probably could have been a little better, but our girls were gassed from running up and down the floor." Fortney said.
Seneca East's Ashton Daniel finished with 10 points and nine rebounds, which led the team in both categories.
Buckeye Central's players were in elementary school when the progam last won a sectional crown, back in 2002 when the Buckettes beat Plymouth, 65-45.
"It is a nice step (in building a program)," Buckeye Central coach Sarah Krichbaum said. "These kids deserve it all. They deserve all the credit. They put in the work, day after day. It's been a while since Buckeye Central (has won a sectional)."
St. Paul led 29-28 heading into the fourth quarter, but little did the Flyers (11-10) realize that Katie Martin's bucket with seven minutes to go to give the Buckettes a 30-29 lead would be the final lead change of the game.
They also didn't realize their offense would go in the tank either. Until the final 24 seconds of the quarter, St. Paul fired 1 of 16 from the field while Buckeye Central was 4 of 9 from the field and 6 of 9 from the line.
"I thought our kids hung in there and played a better second half and made the shots count when we needed them to," Krichbaum said. "They attacked the basket hard and we shot some key shots in the fourth quarter."
The Flyers had abundant chances, too, as seven of its 11 rebounds in the quarter were offensive.
"It is frustrating and the kids bust their butts to get rebounds, and for whatever reason we don't put it back in," St. Paul coach Vicky Mahl said. "That's stuff we've worked on all year long. It's not only frustrating for me, but it's more frustrating for them when they're looking up at the scoreboard and knowing we're behind."
St. Paul focused its defensive efforts on Maddie Ehresman, who was held to seven points, but it didn't have an answer for Sammi Marcum, who scored eight of her 10 points in the first half. There wasn't a solution for Hannah Heydinger either, who scored eight and grabbed 10 rebounds.
"I thought they did a pretty good job of (stopping Ehresman) but it was a pretty good team effort all around," Krichbaum said.
Equally, the Buckettes didn't have a solution the first three quarters for Allie Fitzgerald on the glass, as nine of her 13 rebounds were offensive.
"She definitely caused some problems (for them) tonight," Maul said. "She had a very, very good game tonight. She stayed in longer than she does a lot of times. She stuck with it and I'm proud of her. We made some defensive switches for her so she could stay with who we put her with."
Makayla Agin served as the neutralizer in the fourth quarter, grabbing five of her seven rebounds that period.
"Makayla did a good job on the post and a great job in the second half getting some big boards," Krichbaum said. "Her height disturbed quite a few of their shots going up."
The Buckettes (12-10) spent the bulk of their time defensively trying to contain Allison Spence, who had 10 points, including a pair of 3's.
St. Paul held the turnover (21-22) and rebounding advantage (43-34). But it struggled from the line (3 of 12) and the field (15 of 58).
"We knew they were good. We expected a little bit faster game than they gave us but I think my kids did what we asked them to do," Mahl said. "Our shooting wasn't the best tonight. When you go 3 of 12 from the line, that tends to hurt. We've had shooting issues all year. Sometimes we (make) everything we shoot and sometimes we don't. We just go with the flow."
Mohawk and Buckeye Central move on to the Lexington district tournament on Thursday. Buckeye Central plays Mansfield St. Peter's at 6:15 p.m. while Mohawk plays in the nightcap, facing off with Colonel Crawford.