MORAVIA — Moravia welcomed Seymour for the third meeting in three weeks between the Bluegrass Conference rivals.
This time, however, both teams put their seasons on the line. Just like the first two meetings, the Mohawks dominated the Warriors on Monday in the opening round of Class 1A, District 12 boys basketball tournament play. Moravia jumped out to a 23-2 lead and never looked back, advancing to the district semifinals.
"We wanted to work on keeping our flow when we brought in different combinations of players," assessed the Moravia head boys' basketball coach Brian Bickel. "We also wanted to keep the game in an up tempo pace."
Seymour found the pace a bit dizzying early on. Just 15 seconds into the contest, Moravia senior Carson Brown hit the first of his five 3-pointers in the game to set the pace for the Mohawks.
On the way to a 16-point opening period, Brown hit four treys as the Mohawks scored the first 15 points of the game. Seymour would avoid being completely shut out in the first quarter thanks to a lay-up with 3:40 left in the period before Moravia went on an 8-0 run to end the opening eight minutes.
Moravia (18-4) would continue to control the contest with a combination of potent offensive maneuvers and swarming defenses.
"Defensively, I thought we closed down the lanes during most of the second quarter in our 1-3-1," Bickel said.
Seymour would score only four of their 16 points in the paint during the second quarter. Offensively for the Mohawks, Brown hit a 3-pointer from the right wing to start the offensive engine for the second quarter.
Eight different Mohawk players would help light up the scoreboard during the second period. Tanner Cormeny also hit a 3-pointer for Moravia with 50 seconds remaining in the half.
Logan Johnson hit two free throws with one second remaining in the half, giving Moravia a 49-18 lead. The second half would see Moravia continue mixing up the defensive schemes, as they sported man defense in addition to show casing their 2-3 and 1-3-1 defenses on the night.
Trailing 54-21, Seymour did see an offensive surge during the last half of the third period. Carter Houser scored eight of his 20 points for the Warriors (5-13) during the third frame.
With Moravia holding a 64-31 lead and a running clock, both teams reached into their benches as the reserves would clash for most of the final frame. Mohawk sophomore Matthew Seals would put the final notes to the offensive symphony on the board as he scored on a put back with 3:20 left in the contest.
Brown led all scorers with 27 points for the Mohawks. Tanner Cormeny also reached double figures with 12 points.
Warren McLeod led Moravia in rebounds with seven. Shane Helmick and Riley Hawkins each added six caroms for the Mohawks, who will host another Bluegrass rival on Thursday with either Lamoni or Mormon Trail traveling to Appanoose County after facing each other on Wednesday night.
"We would like to see Lamoni win, as they beat us in a very close game early in the season," stressed Bickel. "We want another shot at them."
Teams 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Seymour 2 16 13 6 37
Moravia 23 26 15 6 70