Men’s Basketball: Moravia Claim Bluegrass Title

January 30 — Murray — The Moravian Boys basketball team has been looking to lift the trophy in the past two seasons.

The Mohawks hope to bring home multiple championships this season. The first of those championships was held on Saturday as Moravia shook off a slow start and surged in the second half to win the Mormon Trail 75-40 in the 2023 Bluegrass Conference Tournament Final at Jerry Brown Gymnasium. I am back.

“It’s been three years and we’ve had a lot of close matches,” Moravia senior Gage Haynes said. “We won the regular season conference title last year, but we didn’t win the tournament.” “We’re not a team in the first quarter, but once you’re on the move and your feet are pumped, it’s hard to start.”

The final score would not have been indicative of the Mohawk’s early struggles. Six consecutive missed field goals to open the contest by Moravia and six early points by senior Fulton Flecher put the The Mormon Trail was able to open 10-3 midway through the first quarter.

“We always preach about running in basketball,” Moravia head coach Brian Bickel said.

It was another senior who helped turn the tide in favor of the Mohawks. Moravia finished the first quarter with a 10-0 run to take a 13-10 lead over the Saints.

“It’s been three years. We’ve come to this championship and we’ve lost it every time,” Shields said. I know my role as a rebounder, guys shoot it and if they miss it, I can rebound it back.”

In addition to scoring a game-high 21 points, Haynes strengthened his defense by amassing two steals late in the first quarter that led to the final two Mohawk field goals of the period. Haynes finished with three of his nine steals for Moravia in this contest, while Mormons converted many of his 15 turnovers on the trail into transition his basket, allowing the Mohawks to finish his Helped build his halftime lead to 31-23.

“We pride ourselves on defense and rebounding,” Haynes said. “It helps us increase our intensity. We felt we had to work harder in the second half and I’m sure the other players felt the same way.”

Moravia proved their points in the third quarter, outscoring the Saints 27-5 in the first eight minutes of the first half of the season off the Mormon Trail. Shane Helmick is currently only grabbing his game-high 15 rebounds, but at quarterback he will showcase his skills from this fall as a 2,000-yard passer, sending basketballs off the court into the open to his receivers. Showed off many times.

As with the grid, many of Helmick’s throws found Riley Hawkins behind the defense. Hawkins started off the field 0-7 before breaking away during the third quarter run as he dunked the title in which he scored 14 points in the competitive bluegrass finals. he turned into a 30-point Mohawk runaway.

“We’ve been coaching all year to do what’s called a touchdown, or three scores in three stops,” Bickel said. “We have a lot of kids who are soccer-minded and love the game. We call them out and let them have fun.

“We had three stops and three points before the start of the second half. After the first ‘touchdown’ we got a time out and looked for the next touchdown. It was a great night defensively and rebounding.”

This is the latest example of how special the current Moravian Boys basketball team is this season. Only Wayne (his 75-66 on Jan. 12) has beaten the Mohawks within his 10 points since his only loss of the year, 73-59, against New London just before the holiday break, and Moravia’s has achieved his last four victories in the . An average margin of 32 points, including a 70-44 victory in Friday’s bluegrass semifinals in which Moravia grabbed 60 rebounds.

Bickel, who won his first Bluegrass Conference Tournament title in 17 seasons as Moravia’s coach, said, “We have the best team ever.” They tell us what they are going to do when they enter.

“I called Melcher Dallas and Matthew called it off. He wanted to do something else and it worked. I always ask them to be leaders. And that’s what they’re becoming.”

Moravia (17-1) heads to BGM on Friday.

— Scott Jackson can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @CourierScott.

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