GALION — A slow start was the difference on Monday evening as Galion fell to Mohawk 43-27 in a non-conference girls basketball matchup.
Mohawk senior Kennedy Cleveland scored 12 points and junior teammate Emily Klopp added 10 points for the Warriors, who snapped a two-game losing streak with the win over the Tigers.
Galion seniors Natalee Perkins and Teanna Greter accounted for all of the Tigers’ points against the Warriors. Perkins scored a game-high 15 points and Greter added 12 points. Perkins hit two three-point field goal attempts.
“We just struggled to find scorers and that’s really it,” Galion head coach Shani Rush said in the wake of her team’s second consecutive loss since a 35-22 win over Plymouth on Dec. 7.
Mohawk quickly pushed out to a 14-5 lead by the end of the first quarter of play. The presence of the 6-foot-3 tall Klopp made it tough on the Tigers trying to score inside. Klopp recorded three blocks, all of which came in the first half.
“We know she’s going to block shots, but I said keep taking it at her. Hopefully, we draw a foul eventually. They do a good job and she’s very athletic,” Rush said.
At the half, Mohawk held a 28-12 advantage over Galion. Juniors Joleigh Hamilton and Bailey Sheets both scored eight points in the first half for the Warriors.
Galion kept pace through the first 16 minutes thanks to their senior duo of Perkins and Greter, who each scored six points in the first half.
In the third quarter, the two teams scored a combined 13 points. Mohawk led 35-17 after three quarters of play.
Galion was never able to get over the hump in the fourth quarter. Having a thin bench doesn’t help the cause, Rush noted.
“They have to be mentally tough and they’re doing a good job. If we could get a couple girls off the bench to score. But, this is the hand we’re dealt with,” Rush said.
With no junior varsity team, young players like freshman Cameron Eckert have been forced into the fire early on.
“We don’t have the bench. We’re playing our freshman Cameron Eckert. She’s a nice player and she’s going to be a good player, but to have the confidence of playing some JV and then varsity would do her a lot of good,” Rush said.
Sheets added nine points and Hamilton finished with points for the Warriors. Sophomores Mia Miller and Gracie Clouse scored two points apiece for Mohawk.
Galion (2-5, 0-4 Mid Ohio Athletic Conference) will try to get back in the win column on Thursday when Ontario (1-4, 0-2 MOAC) visits for a conference game. The Tigers and Warriors are the only teams in the MOAC still looking for their first conference win this season.
The Tigers head to Highland (1-4, 1-2 MOAC) on Saturday and then play at Northmor (4-3) next Wednesday.
Mohawk (3-3, 1-2 Northern 10 Athletic Conference) will be back in action on Saturday when they travel to Wynford (3-2, 2-1 Northern 10).