MOHAWK 66, LITTLE FALLS 55
The Mohawk Mohicans scored the first 10 points of Saturday’s game and left Little Falls to play catch-up the rest of the night as they defeated the Mounties 66-55.
Mohawk hit five of its first six shots and prompted Little Falls coach Brian Dodge to call two timeouts before his team had scored a point.
“We started out flat and it cost us,” Dodge said. “We started the game with no energy. I couldn’t believe it. The biggest game of the year and we came out flat.”
A win would have given Little Falls a chance to share another Center State Conference Division II title with Mohawk. The Mohicans carried a two-game lead into Saturday’s game in Little Falls, site of their only league loss the last two seasons. Little Falls and Mohawk both won their home floors last year and finished 9-1 in league play.
“We definitely wanted to come in here and send a message with a win,” said Mohawk senior Carson Murphy who fouled out of last year’s 46-42 loss in Little Falls, “especially since we lost here last year.”
The Mounties answered Mohawk’s initial burst with five points of their own but never got closer than five at any point in the game. They were within six in the second quarter before Mohawk’s Mike Santillo hit the first two of his four three-point shots and scored eight points in 90 seconds. Santillo’s second three-pointer gave Mohawk (14-1, 7-0 CSC-II), which had led 20-14, a 34-16 advantage, its largest of the first half.
“Santillo played great,” Dodge said of the senior who scored 20 points for Mohawk. “He shot the ball great.”
“Having Santillo step up tonight was huge,” Mohawk coach Luke Judd added.
Little Falls (7-7, 4-3 CSC-II) had the ball while trailing by 11 points in the final 30 seconds of the second quarter when Carson Murphy came up with a steal and converted it into a dunk for the Mohicans. Two foul shots got Little Falls back within 11 points after missing a chance to cut its deficit to single digits.
The Mounties were within 10 points in the third quarter when Santillo started a 7-0 Mohawk run with another three-pointer. Murphy added a long three-pointer at the buzzer to put Mohawk up 49-33 entering the fourth quarter.
The Mohicans led by as many as 18 points again in the fourth quarter before Little Falls rallied. A three-pointer by Jesse Lonis had the Mounties within eight points with one minute left to play but Mohawk hit six of its last seven foul shots to close out the game.
“You’ve got to give them credit,” Judd said. “Those kids fight. They’re scrappy. ...
Page 2 of 2 - “At the end of the game, with the foul situation, I kind of feel like being senior-laden is a bit of an advantage.”
Mohawk shot 10 free throws in the final two minutes. Little Falls had 19 attempts to Mohawk’s 11 before that stretch.
Murphy scored 24 points with 11 rebounds, two steals and two blocked shots. Kainan McCarthy added 13 points, Paul Joyce had five assists and three steals and Mitchell Werenczak grabbed eight rebounds.
Lonis led Little Falls with 17 points and 19 rebounds; he shot 8-for-10 from the foul line. Lucas Godlewski scored 12 points, Tyler Baumeister had 10 points and six rebounds and Jordan Day scored nine points off the bench.
Prior to the game, a moment of silence was held for Eric Loucks, a Little Falls firefighter who died Wednesday. Loucks was described “a man who helped so many” and a “great loss to the community.”
Little Falls’ next game is Wednesday at Frankfort-Schuyler. Mohawk travels to Newport Tuesday and can clinch a league title by beating second-place West Canada Valley.
MOHAWK MOHICANS 66, LITTLE FALLS MOUNTIES 55
MOHAWK (14-1, 7-0 CSC-II) — Mike Santillo 6 4-6 20; McKensy Reardon 0 0-0 0; Jared Marquissee 0 0-0 0; Brandon Brault 1 0-0 2; Paul Joyce 2 1-2 5; Carson Murphy 8 6-9 24; Kainan McCarthy 6 1-4 13; Mitchell Werenczak 1 0-0 2. Totals: 24 12-21 66.
LITTLE FALLS (7-7, 4-3 CSC-II) — Tyler Baumeister 4 2-2 10; Lucas Godlewski 5 0-0 12; Mitchell Baumeister 0 2-4 2; Mike Battisti 1 0-0 2; Jesse Lonis 4 8-10 17; Theo Wind 1 1-2 3; Ben Delaney 0 0-0 0; Jordan Day 4 0-1 9. Totals: 19 13-19 55.
Mohawk 20 16 13 17 — 66
Little Falls 10 15 8 22 — 55
Three-pointers — Mohawk 6 (Santillo 4, Murphy 2); Little Falls 4 (Godlewski 2, Day 1, Lonis 1).