NEW CASTLE —
The Mohawk High boys basketball team earned its first WPIAL playoff win since 2006 on Saturday.
Now, the Warriors are looking to claim multiple district postseason victories for the first time since before the 1998 season.
The task won’t be easy, though.
The 14th-seeded Warriors (10-13) will battle Seton-La Salle at 8 p.m. today at Peters Township High School. The third-seeded Rebels (20-2) are ranked No. 3 in the WPIAL in Class AA by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
“They’re a good basketball team with a nice combination of players,” Mohawk coach Rob Fadden said. “They have size inside and their guards are solid outside.”
The Warriors held off Serra Catholic in a preliminary-round matchup, 49-43, while Seton-La Salle had a bye.
Though the Rebels have caught the attention of most throughout the district, coach Mark Walsh overlooks the hype.
“We don’t even really focus on the rankings or anything other than our practice and our next opponent,” he said. “We can be beat by anybody; you have to constantly remind yourself of that.
“A lot of times it’s who really gets hot at the end of the season. We just say let’s just get a little better every day. Rankings are nice, but I don’t really ever look at it. You have to beat everybody you play in the playoffs, no matter where they seed you.”
Dale Clancy, a 5-foot-10 junior point guard, leads Seton-La Salle in scoring at 14 points a game.
“He plays like he looks on film. He’s a heck of a player and he’s quick,” Fadden said. “He will look to shoot the ball, but he wants to create, first.
“He’s got a very nice handle on the ball. He will penetrate if it’s there.”
Levi Masua, a 6-5 junior forward, and Malik White, a 6-4 junior center, both toss in 12 markers a contest.
“Masua is a good player,” Fadden said. “He can step away from the hoop a little more than White can.
“I thought he was more of a true post player, but he was knocking down some threes on film. White is a real nice post player. He runs the floor very well; they have a few weapons.”
The Section 4 champion Rebels are averaging 65.8 points a game and limiting the opposition to 44.9.
“They like to get out and run,” Fadden said. “If they don’t get anything, they’re pretty disciplined and will get into the half court sets.
“Defensively, they get after it. They play pretty hard on defense.”