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Mohawk wins big in home opener

6 November 2011 No Comment

Defence leading to offence allowed the Mountaineers to pull away from the overmatched and undersized St. Clair Saints in Mohawk’s 98-66 home opening win on Nov. 4.

“Basically, we just had to work on rebounding, take of defence, and let the offence take care of itself,” said starting point guard Manny Campbell.

Mohawk played an up tempo game that wore down the Saints, and allowed plenty of easy baskets in the second half. Aminu Bello reaped the benefits of several layups off fast-break passes, mostly by Campbell, that helped him reach a game high 33 points.

Even when the game was well in hand, head coach Brian Jonker was pleased to see his team continuing to play hard.

“The guys that came in and played some minutes that don’t normally play, came in and played with some energy,” said Jonker. Jonker added that his group of guys this year always plays with an energy level that reaches his expectations.

Mohawk’s length in the middle was a factor, leaving St. Clair virtually hopeless when it came to scoring in the paint. Taylor Dowhaniuk had three blocked shots in the game and the post-players for Mohawk only allowed six second-chance points all game.

“They’re the key,” said Campbell about his post-players. “They stop all the penetration, so, as long as the guards take away the shots, we’ll let them drive into the big men.”

The only thing keeping St. Clair in the game early was their three-point shooting. The Saints had four three-pointers, many of them open looks, for 12 of their first 18 points. Then it was Mohawk’s turn to start dropping shots from behind the arc. Bello, Campbell, and Alex Reis hit consecutive threes to start widening the gap.

In the second half, Mohawk could do no wrong. Tanner Lane opened the half with back-to-back threes. Offensive rebounds and steals were leading to easy baskets and the Mountaineers were able to start going to their bench. Brae Diaby and Josh Sanderson came into the game to give the starters a rest and scored one and two points respectively. Mike Dzikic, whom saw limited time, had a chance to put Mohawk at the century mark, but missed on two free throw attempts. After an Abroullah Abdi steal, the crowd was yelling to “shoot” wanting the Mountaineers to reach the 100 point total but Abdi was content to dribble out the clock and end the lopsided victory.

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