There will be no banner hanging in the gym at Mohawk High, but that doesn’t mean the seniors on the Mohawk High girls basketball team didn’t leave a legacy.
“It’s a shame because the hard part is there’s not a banner on the wall for this group,” coach Mike O’Lare said. “But you’re not always remembered by a banner on a wall. Their legacy is going to be left by what they did and the memories they have of playing with each other.”
The Lady Warriors were eliminated from the PIAA Class 3A playoffs Friday by Bishop Canevin, falling to the Lady Crusaders 31-30 on a last-second layup.
Mohawk finished the 2017-18 season 21-6, while seniors Carlee Stelter, Caitlin Carnuche, Megan Meyer and Abbey Westcott finish their careers with a four-year record of 71-24.
The Lady Warriors averaged 56 points per game this season and the four seniors combined to average 36.7 of those 56.
“It’s a shame that it had to end that way, losing to a team like Bishop Canevin again,” O’Lare said. “It’s a shame for our girls who have been in our program their whole careers and grew up playing on our playgrounds.”
Mohawk’s run through the WPIAL and PIAA playoffs was almost over as quickly as it started, as it barely escaped a first-round matchup with Avonworth in the WPIAL playoffs. Stelter sank two free throws in the waning moments to give the Lady Warriors a 53-51 victory.
“These kids will always have the memories they made together,” O’Lare said. “We talked about how if we don’t make a free throw against Avonworth, we don’t get the experience or the feeling of this five-game run. But they’re a resilient group. They weren’t going to quit and I think people will always remember that about them.”
The first time the Lady Warriors met the Lady Crusaders, they fell 47-30. The second time around, they drastically closed the gap. O’Lare says that speaks to the character of his players.
“I think whether it was Bishop Canevin or against Neshannock, the second time around they’ve been much better,” O’Lare said. “They’re a smart group of girls. They got in the gym, they watched film and they fixed their mistakes. And I’d expect nothing less from this group.”
Asked how he’ll remember the seniors that have now finished their high school careers, O’Lare thanked the group for everything it has given him and the program.
“They’ll go on and they’ll continue to play, just not for Mohawk anymore,” he said. “But in their time here they’ve done a lot for our program and I really couldn’t be prouder.”