By Brandon Judeh
No matter how clich it may sound, the Mogadore and Wellsville boys basketball teams took the saying, “blood, sweat and tears” to a new level.
The Wildcats (19-5) defeated Wellsville 63-50 to claim the Division IV district title, but not without a bit of pain.
Early in the second quarter, during a mad dash for a loose ball, the Tigers’ (13-10) Josh Carter and Mogadore’s Alex Roebken got tangled up. After the dust settled, Carter got up with blood gushing from above his right eye and Roebken fell to the ground in pain.
“I’m not even sure how it happened, I went after the ball and the next thing I know I got hit in the head,” said Carter.
Carter returned in the third quarter to score 10 of his team high 14 points. Roebken wasn’t so lucky.
“It was just a freak thing, somebody rolled up on my ankle and I heard something pop, it doesn’t look too good, but I’m going to tape it up and give it a try on Tuesday,” Roebken said.
“This is my senior year, it’s my last chance I got to do it.”
Mogadore dominated most of the first half and took a nine-point lead into the locker room.
The second half featured both teams performing the run and gun offense. The fast-paced half started out with Wellsville stealing the momentum as Camden Douglas hit two deep 3s to cut the lead to three.
That was the closest the Tigers would get.
Mogadore dominated the offensive glass, grabbing seven offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter; something coach Russ Swartz said helped his team hold on.
“It was huge, we got so many because of good effort,” Swartz said. “We took some ill-advised shots at times, but our guys did a great job of anticipating where the ball was going to come off.”
The Tigers did not go quietly, as they continued to battle and at one point cut the lead to five in the final quarter thanks to Nate Scott scoring 13 and Douglas chipping in with 11.
Hunter Van Camp led all scorers with 21 points and Michael Duma scored 12 points and dished out four assists.
“This is very hard, I just wanted to keep winning and see how far we could go and extend my career here,” Carter said.
The young Tigers grimaced as they watched the Wildcats cut down the nets and hold up their championship trophy, perhaps soaking it all in to use as motivation for next season.