The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

January 21, 2014

Mohawks get 'sweet' win over Sabers

MORAVIA — Twin Cedars made the plays last season. Moravia did not.

Three times in four meetings last year, that was the script that played out over 32 hard-fought minutes each time the Sabers and Mohawks met on the hardwood. The Sabers won the final three meetings of the 2012-13 portion of the rivalry meetings with the Mohawks, earning conference titles and postseason wins in the process.

That was last year. This is the 2013-14 girls basketball season, and for at least one night, Moravia flipped the script on their Bluegrass rivals from Bussey.

Mohawk junior Hannah Eastlick scored 18 points and pulled in 10 rebounds for a hard-earned double-double against a physical Saber squad. Sophomore Autumn McDanel shook off a tough night handling the ball to come up with seven steals including a late theft that led to a break-away basket during an 8-1 run that sealed a "sweet" 48-40 win for Moravia on Tuesday.

“We’ve lost to them for the last three years, so it really uplifts your heart to win a game like this,” Eastlick said. “We lost to them three times last year, including the game that could have helped get us to state. For the returning players, we talked a lot about what this game meant to us with the incoming players about what this game meant to all of us.”

Moravia head coach Clint Woodard seconded that emotion.

“One of the main things I told the girls, especially our returning players, is to remember those heartbreaking loss to Twin Cedars last season,” Woodard said. “This was big. This was a hard-fought game for both sides.”

On the other side of the scorers’ table from Woodard was one of the newcomers to the Twin Cedars-Moravia rivalry. Mike Strasko made his head coaching debut in the battle on the basketball floor between the Saber and Mohawk girls basketball squads.

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