NEW RIEGEL - Both New Riegel and Mohawk got off to a slow start as each team only accumulated 17 points by halftime, but Mohawk pushed open a 29-25 lead after three quarters before closing with a 45-33 win to hand the Blue Jackets their first league loss of the season.
However, a win is a win and Mohawk coach Josh Fortney welcomed that.
"We scored enough," Fortney said. "I'm happy with the win, they're one of the better teams around. The top half of the league is so good that we're going to beat up on each other every once in a while."
Fortney also mentioned that "bodies were flying."
Each team did do its fair share of beating up on the other at times, as there was even a 10-minute intermission with 2:05 left in the first quarter to allow school officials to clean off the court.
Yet despite aggressive play, it was the type of game where neither team ever held a dominant lead, that is, until Ashley Parker unleashed a 3-pointer with just seconds remaining in the third quarter to lift Mohawk to a 29-25 lead.
That was the spark that lit the Warrior fire and kept the momentum going for eight more minutes.
New Riegel tried to battle back early in the final period but a trey from Lynsey Trusty followed by another from Parker gave Mohawk a 38-28 lead and an extra boost of momentum needed to seal the deal.
For Fortney, those key 3-pointers were what he needed out of his senior captain.
"Ashley Parker had some big shots for us and I'm pretty proud of her and what she did; knocking down those shots, that's what we as a team full of juniors and seniors, that's what you expect. Somebody is going to have to step up in a pressure situation. She's been around, she's a captain and four-year letterwinner, that's what I expect them to do. Somebody has to step up and knock down those shots, and she did," Fortney said.
Parker, on the other hand, attributed the win to her colleagues.
"Our team really stepped up, we played more as a team and we just knocked down some shots and had a good game," Parker said. "We knew we had to take care of the ball. They're a very quick and aggressive team, so just taking care of the ball and just getting it across the court was a big first part of the half; and boxing out because they have big girls."
Parker finished the night with 11 points, including a 3-of-4 showing from beyond the arc.
Teammate Kasey Adelsperger led all players with 16 points, almost registering a double-double with nine rebounds. Sarah Parker also grabbed nine boards for Mohawk (8-3, 3-2 Midland Athletic League).
Kara Scherger led New Riegel (10-2, 4-1 MAL) with seven points while Lauren Ladd grabbed 14 rebounds and tallied six points.
Even though Mohawk derailed previously MAL unbeaten New Riegel, there's still plenty of season left for the Warriors.
"We have goals, we have high expectations for ourselves. We take care of business and worry about ourselves," Fortney said.