Balanced scoring is one of many strengths for the Mohawk High girls basketball team.
On any given night, a different player may lead the team in scoring.
March 10, it was Hannah McDanel’s turn to shine. McDanel scored a game-high 21 points, propeling Mohawk to a 61-44 win over Carlynton in a PIAA Class 3A second-round matchup.
For her efforts, McDanel has been named Lawrence County athlete of the week, as voted on by the New Castle News sports staff.
Prior to the contest against the Lady Cougars, McDanel had scored 27 points in the Lady Warriors’ first four playoff games.
“I just think she hit some shots early in that game,” Mohawk coach Mike O’Lare said. “It gave her some confidence. She hasn’t been taking as many shots as the playoffs went on.
“During the playoff games, we were attacking the rim. We weren’t taking in the mid-30s for 3s, which was our average. She hit some shots, they were taking a little bit of our penetration away and the girls found her.”
A daughter of Chuck and Cheryl McDanel, McDanel averages 10.4 points per game. She has drained 58 3-pointers, which is third on the team. Karly McCutcheon leads the team with 91 3-pointers.
McDanel got Mohawk (24-3) going in the win over Carlynton, scoring eight of her points in the first quarter. She had 13 at the half.
McDanel delivers numbers that don’t show up in a box score.
“Deflections are so important to a team like us,” O’Lare said. “We’re trying to pressure the ball and steal the pass they make.
“She’s gotten really good at getting off the ballhandler and getting in the passing lanes.”
O’Lare has noticed the improvements McDanel has made to her game.
“I think from 10th grade to 11th grade, her growth is in learning the game, yet not overthinking the game,” O’Lare said. “You get what you get from Hannah every game; you get effort every game.
“She’s really developed defensively. She’s lightning fast and she’s to the rim before anyone.”
Mohawk is slated to play Cambria Heights (25-3) in the PIAA Class 3A quarterfinals if the PIAA permits the culmination of winter sports once students go back to school.