Check them out: Surprising MHS a step from state

Fairmont Senior standing in way


The Dominion Post

It seems odd to use the words "Morgantown High boys' basketball team" and "state championship" in the same sentence.


The Mohigans have never won one and have made just two apperances in the state tournament since 1993, both first-round exits courtesy of Woodrow Wilson.

MHS entered this season minus its two top scorers from the season before.

Throw it all together and it didn't add up to a state championship formula.

Somebody forgot to tell the Mohigans.

"This team wants it all," point guard Bobby Prim said following the Mohigans' 80-36 victory over University High on Friday night for the sectional title. "That's what we've been working for all year."

Against the odds, MHS is putting together a dream season.

Twenty victories ... check.

No. 1 ranking in the power poll ... check.

No. 4 ranking in the media poll ... check.

Four starters in double figures ... check.

An exciting run-and-gun style of play ... check.

Now, nothing short of a state tourney appearance, and possibly a championship, will satisfy them.

"Our confidence level is at an all-time high right now," Prim said. "We're prepared to do whatever it takes. We've been like that all season. I think that's why we've been successful."

One step back is all it will take to bring the dream season to an end.

"I've been bringing up all types of examples," MHS coach Tom Yester said. "Woodrow Wilson got beat in the sectional for the first time in something like 12 years. The Wheeling Park girls' team beat Parkersburg South. Those types of things can happen if you don't stay focused."

The next step comes at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, and it won't be easy. MHS (20-3) will play NCAC champion and fifth-ranked Fairmont Senior (21-2) in the Region III title game, at Fairmont State's Feaster Center. The winner advances to Charleston.

The two teams split a pair of games during the regular season. Fairmont Senior won the first, 81-62, MHS the second, 65-63.

"When we lost the first game, we used it as motivation for the rest of the season," Prim said. "I think we may have the advantage now, since we beat them the last time. That loss may be in the back of their minds now like it was with us the first time."

To pull it off, MHS will need to play with the same intensity it had against UHS.

"We'll have to step it up another notch," Yester said. "Rebounding will be a big factor. We have to be able to handle our own on the boards. They present a lot of problems. We'll go after them, though. It should be a great game."