SYACMORE — Colonel Crawford went on the road Saturday evening and picked up a big win over the Mohawk Warriors by a score of 53-38.
Colonel Crawford (16-0, 12-0 Northern 10 Athletic Conference) remains undefeated with the victory.
The first half was played at a sluggish pace, resulting in a 17-all tie game by halftime. The Eagles turned it on offensively in the second half led by their big three of Mason Studer, Carter Valentine, and Chase Walker, who combined to score 41 of Crawford’s 53 points. Studer finished with 16 points. Valentine added 13 points and Walker tallied 12 points.
“In championship kind of games you rely on the big three. The other guys around them got it done, too,” said Eagles coach Dave Sheldon. “That’s what they’re expected to do and the other guys around them are their biggest cheerleaders.”
Things changed quickly in the second half for the Eagles, who came out looking to score inside. Colonel Crawford led 34-26 after three quarters.
“We didn’t shoot it well the first half. We wanted to come out and get Chase (Walker) a touch and we did,” Sheldon said.
Walker scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half.
“In terms of size, (Walker’s) not the biggest guy in the league, but he plays like the biggest guy in the league,” said Mohawk coach Paul Dunn. “I thought our guys did a pretty good job, but there was just runs where he was able to get offensive rebounds and even tips.”
Mohawk (12-4, 8-3 Northern 10) stayed within striking distance at times thanks to the play of senior Austin Tusing. Tusing had 17 points and none of them came easily.
“I think he’s one of the best players in the league,” Dunn said. “He’s kind of our catalyst, when he goes the other guys typically feed off of him. Tonight wasn’t the night for everybody else, but for him he played pretty well tonight.”
Senior Landen Snyder added seven points for the Warriors.
Colonel Crawford held Mohawk to 12 points in the final quarter, while doubling that amount themselves to seal this one.
“We didn’t have our best shooting night, that’s for sure,” Dunn pointed out. “Unfortunately, a lot of the shots didn’t fall. Our kids are kids that can make those kind of shots, but just wasn’t our night.”
Sheldon said his team’s cohesiveness on and off the floor has been the main reason for their success so far this season.
“The brotherhood in there, we have eight guys who play their ability to the best. That is what championship teams do. The three-game stretch we just went through, I couldn’t be prouder of the group,” Sheldon said. “To do this through a COVID pandemic, not one of them has made excuses.”
Colonel Crawford has four games remaining in the Northern 10, but hasn’t clinched the conference championship yet. Mohawk (8-3 Northern 10) and Upper Sandusky (10-6, 8-3 Northern 10) both have a game in hand in conference play, but the Eagles own the tiebreaker against both of them thanks to sweeps of the season series against the Warriors and Rams.
Colonel Crawford is scheduled to play Friday at Wynford and Saturday at home against Seneca East.
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