Mohawk girls win WPIAL title; looking for more

Mohawk poses after winning the WPIAL Class 3A championship. 

The waiting game continues for the Mohawk High girls basketball team.

The Lady Warriors last took the court March 10, posting a 61-44 win over Carlynton in the second round of the PIAA Class 3A playoffs.

Mohawk (24-3) was set to play Cambria Heights (25-3) on March 13 before the coronavirus shut down the winter sports season, and virtually everything else, indefinitely.

“I feel like it’s been a month and it hasn’t been a week,” Lady Warriors coach Mike O’Lare said of the time that has passed since the last game. “The end of the season is always an abrupt ending. Almost every team in sports loses that final game. It just feels like it was so long ago.”

Tuesday marks a week since the Mohawk girls took the floor for a competitive game. The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association announced Thursday it was suspending its winter championships by a minimum of two weeks in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Schools were shut down Friday and athletic teams aren’t permitted to hold workouts or any form of practice.

“We’re kind of isolated from one another right now,” O’Lare said. “We’re not allowed to be with them. We can’t organize anything or authorize them doing anything.

“It’s a fine line that I walk. Less is more right now. I don’t bring it up because I don’t want to cross that line. We’ve been mandated not to. You can communicate with them, but you can’t urge them to work on stuff.”

The WPIAL and PIAA announced Monday that they will follow and support the directives of Governor Tom Wolf for all school-based activities, including interscholastic athletics.

To minimize the spread of COVID-19, schools and/or teams are reminded that having off-campus practices or workouts during a mandated closure defeats the spirit and intent of the shutdown. Schools should stop any of these activities from occurring.

The WPIAL Board of Directors said it will not release or discuss any information about spring sports until directed by the PIAA.

A decision to allow the games could be an abrupt one. But it could also mean teams not having a great deal of time to prepare for the upcoming game. Regardless of which basketball team it is around the state, the next step is a game in the state’s Elite Eight.

“We’re banking on them giving you a little bit of time if something happens,” O’Lare said. “Basketball is a skill game. If you get a couple of days together, everyone will be in the same boat.”

O’Lare, who teaches health and physical education at Mohawk, remains positive on the matter.

“Until they change it to canceled, we’ll hold on to the hope it’s postponed and will be played,” he said. “You’re with your players every day for four-and-a-half months, and hours a day. Now you’re just separated.

“I’ve never left a season where you wonder if you’ll ever play again or not.”

rponiewasz@ncnewsonline.com

Sports Writer

Ron Poniewasz Jr. is a sports writer at the New Castle News. Email him at rponiewasz@ncnewsonline.com.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.