SYCAMORE - There was a sense of the familiar, as well the new, and Mohawk nearly swept both swept away.
But Old Fort countered the Warriors' rally in the third quarter with one of its own in the fourth Friday to forge an 81-70 win and claim at least a share of the Midland Athletic League title.
The crown is the first since the 2001-02 season for the Stockaders, who are coached by Eric Hoover, who also coaches volleyball and baseball at Mohawk.
The win improved the 19-2 Stockaders to 10-0 in the MAL. All that stands between them and the outright crown is New Riegel, which has one league loss and comes to town Friday in the regular-season finale.
A win would give the Stockaders their fifth outright MAL crown since the league began with the 1985-86 season. A loss would make them share the title for the third time and allow New Riegel to join Old Fort as the only teams to earn at least a share of four consecutive titles.
Old Fort alternated shared titles in 1993-94 (Carey) and 1995-96 (New Riegel) with outright crowns in 1994-95 and 1996-97. New Riegel sandwiched outright titles in 2009-10 and 2011-12 around a shared crown in 2009-10 (Calvert).
Fremont St. Joe could also share the title if it beats Carey and New Riegel beats Old Fort.
Mohawk nearly made sure the league finale would be between a pair of one-MAL-loss teams, overcoming a 38-30 halftime deficit with a 23-10 surge in the third quarter to go up 53-48.
But the Stockaders recovered in the fourth period, out-scrapping the Warriors 23-17 to get the win.
"Mohawk played a great game. Coach [John] Arnold had a good game plan and the kids executed it and mad shots," Hoover said. "We had a hard time getting our defense set before it was too late.
"I'm proud of the way the kids battled and weathered the big run Mohawk put on us in the second half," he said. "We never panicked and just continued to go to our strengths on offense. Hunter [Perry], Cole [Davidson] and Dalton [Perry] battled tough defense all night long and came through big time at the offensive end."
Hunter Perry gave Old Fort 24 points, seven rebounds and three steals, Dalton Perry tallied 20 points and 13 boards, and Davidson chipped in 22 points and five assists.
Marc Salas (6), A.J. Phillimore (5) and Matt Hill (4) combined for the team's other 15 points.
Mohawk (6-14, 3-7 MAL) countered with four players who scored in double digits.
Mitch Parker led that group with 20 points, Drew Loose added 18 points and eight boards, Grant Ekleberry pitched in 16 points and Darby Walton netted 12 points.
St. Joe stays alive in league race
FREMONT - Fremont St. Joe started strongly and powered away in the second Friday to thump Hopewell-Loudon 63-47 and keep its Midland Athletic League title hopes alive.
The win vaulted the Crimson Streaks (15-5) to 9-1 in the MAL. They must beat Carey in the league finale Friday and hope New Riegel (9-1 MAL) hands Old Fort its first league loss that night to force a three-way tie.
St. Joe made sure it put itself in that position against H-L, jumping out 24-15 at the first stop.
The Chieftains (10-10, 5-5) trimmed the deficit to 31-26 by halftime, but the Crimson Streaks outscored H-L 32-21 in the second half.
Jordan Sessler led the way with 15 points and five steals for St. Joe. Connor Dudley netted 13 points and Zack Yeckley had 12 points and four assists.
Alec Gregg's 16 points and Weston Hill's 10 boards paced H-L. Tyler Imes added eight points.
Blue Devils roar off in second half
NORTH BALTIMORE - Carey dominated the second half Friday and got a big scoring night from Justin Meek to turn a close game into a 95-71 romp over Midland Athletic League foe North Baltimore.
Carey (15-6, 8-2) entered halftime nursing a 40-39 lead, but outscored the Tigers 55-32 from there.
Meek fueled the attack with 34 points and eight rebounds for the Blue Devils.
Jared Wentling backed him 15 points, Zach Boes scored 14 and Bryan Powers tossed in 11.
Jacob Frost's 28 points sparked the Tigers (2-18, 2-8). Jordan Watson and Jacob Williams each scored 12 points, with Watson grabbing six boards.
Tiger bolt past SW
FOSTORIA - Seneca East bottled up St. Wendelin in the middle quarters and got a double-double from Ben Hahler in Friday's 52-23 Midland Athletic League win.
The Tigers led just 12-8 after the first quarter, but outscored the Mohawks 12-4 in the second and 19-2 in the third to gain control.
Hahler keyed the charge with 10 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and four blocks for Seneca East (11-9, 6-4 MAL). Ethan Caudill tossed in 20 points and Dylan Bordner tallied eight points.
Zach Miller's six points and six rebounds led the Mohawks (6-14, 2-8). Nick Root added five boards and three steals, and Terrance Bello snared three steals.