Brown leaves Everett feeling blue
JOHNSTOWN – It took just one shot and one friendly bounce to undo a game’s worth of good defense by the Everett Area High School girls basketball team.
And that was enough to send the Lady Warriors to the sidelines.
Mohawk got 27 points from talented guard Shelby Brown, but the fifth-place team from District 7 needed consecutive 3-pointers by Sam Carr, Hannah Morrow and Lucia Fee in the middle of the fourth quarter to get by the District 5 champs, 52-44, in the first round of the PIAA Class AA playoffs on Friday night at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Sports Center.
Everett ended the season 18-7. Aubrea Phipps led the Lady Warriors with 14 points and four steals, while Kadie Morral had 11 points and 14 rebounds. Bailey Morral also scored in double figures with 10.
“I thought we played really good,” Phipps said. “I thought we played really good defensively. They just hit two shots in the fourth quarter that really were the difference.”
Phipps was referring to Morrow and Fee’s treys in transition that gave Mohawk the biggest lead of the game for either team – seven – with 3:35 to play. However, just before that, Carr put Mohawk ahead for just the second time in the second half when she launched one in the halfcourt that bounced up and then rattled through the net.
“Usually, I think too much. I did not think at all on that one,” said Carr, who scored seven points off the bench to finish second on her team behind Brown. “I just thought, ‘I’m going to stroke it.’ I thought I missed it at first, and when it went in I was so excited. I think once one falls, so do everyone else’s.”
Everett seemed like it might be taking control at that point. It had two Mohawk starters deep in foul trouble and was starting to assert itself on the boards. Then, Bailey Morral got hot and scored seven quick points in the fourth quarter, hitting a jumper to give her team a 39-37 lead just before Carr’s 3.
“It takes your momentum away. And, when your momentum goes away, you just can’t do what you’d been doing,” Morral said.
Up until that point, Mohawk relied heavily on Brown. She had 15 of her team’s 19 first-half points to keep the game even at intermission and followed up the three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter with a behind-the-back fast-break layup.
“We know how to win. It’s been like that all season. We can be down, but we know how to come back,” said Brown, who was 9-for-19 from the field. “I knew we needed to win this game. I knew how important it was to all of us, so I kind of took it on my back.”
Mohawk, also nicknamed the Lady Warriors, improved to 18-7, as well. It will play District 10 champion North East in the second round.
“For three quarters, I thought our backs were against the wall. We never actually controlled the game until the fourth quarter,” Mohawk coach Tom O’Lare said.
Everett led by five points in the first, three in the second, six with 1:45 left in the third and four in the fourth. The District 5 champs made a living at the line, converting their first 12 shots and finishing 17-for-20 at the stripe.
“They just hit a few more shots than we did at the end,” Everett coach Keith Moyer said. “We defended pretty well. Other than Brown, everyone else was in single digits. We defended well and rebounded well. Kadie Morral was an animal on the boards.
“We’re happy for the opportunity to go to the state tournament. Things just didn’t go our way tonight.”
Everett overcame a ton of injuries – 3-point shooting ace Logan Brallier missed the last six weeks of the year with a concussion – to win its first District 5 title since 2000.
“We accomplished a lot. We won D5. Anything after that is extra,” said Phipps, one of three Everett seniors with Bailey Morral and Laura DuVall.
“No one can take that away from us,” Morral said of the district championship. “We made it farther than anyone else around us.”
MOHAWK (52): Fee 1 0-0 3, Brown 9 7-8 27, D. Giancola 1 0-2 3, Morrow 2 0-0 6, Ruby 2 2-2 6, Duncan 0 0-0 0, Carr 3 0-0 7, Gage 0 0-0 0. Totals – 18 9-12 52.
EVERETT (44): B. Morral 4 0-0 10, Beegle 0 4-4 4, DuVall 1 0-0 3, Au. Phipps 5 4-4 14, K. Morral 2 7-10 11, Snider 0 0-0 0, Rice 0 2-2 2. Totals – 12 17-20 44.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Mohawk12 7 11 22-52
Everett13 6 12 13-44
3-point goals: Mohawk 7 (Brown 2, Morrow 2, D. Giancola, Carr, Fee); Everett 3 (B. Morral 2, DuVall).
Officials: Sarah Fye, Don Donaldson, Craig Elbin.
Team records: Mohawk (18-7); Everett (18-7).