MHS pounds Polar Bears
Moves on to states
Bob Gay/The Dominion Post

Morgantown High's Seth Fogarty battles Fairmont Senior's Cornelius Dillard (left) for a rebound in their regional final. MHS defeated the Polar Bears, 75-54, to earn a berth in the state tournament in Charleston.


The Dominion Post

FAIRMONT -- From the time Bobby Prim took an errant Stephen Sutherland pass and drove for a lay-up to reserve Daniel Dalton scoring back-to-back baskets to end the game, it was all Morgantown High on Tuesday night.

Playing with unrivaled spirit and confidence, the Mohigans rocked Fairmont Senior, 75-54, at Fairmont State's Feaster Center to win the Region III championship and advance to next week's Class AAA state tournament.

"I remember last year wanting to be in that big dance and now we're in that big dance," MHS senior Ronnie Shaver said. "We've been working hard for four years. We have a great coach, great players and we wanted this win. I don't know if this was meant to be, but working hard got us here."

MHS (22-3) will play Robert C. Byrd in the first round of the state tournament. Fairmont Senior (21-3) lost its last two games against Morgantown with this one being a rout.

"They're a good ball team, but our intensity was so high and we were so excited," MHS junior Seth Fogarty said. "I think the score could have been anything. We could have won by 30, 10 or five."

Shaver scored a game-high 22 points to lead Morgantown back to the state tournament for the first time since the 1999-2000 season. The Mohigans were able to pull off the win in large part because of their defense.

Fairmont Senior, an outstanding 3-point shooting team, made just one shot from behind the arc and it came from reserve Dwan Edwards with less than a minute left in the game.

With mutiple defense and ball pressure, the Mohigans limited Fairmont Senior guards Will Bridges and Sutherland to a combined 15 points.

Sutherland finished with nine while Bridges scored all his six points in the first half. Bridges later fouled out in the fourth quarter.

"We knew they were good 3-point shooters so what we did is extend our zone and man-to-man defense and just got hands in their face," Fogarty said. "It obviously helped. We forced them to drive."

The defensive intensity Morgantown put out on the floor against Fairmont Senior frustrated the Polar Bears. They were hardly ever in rhythm offensively Tuesday night.

"They were really off, which is unusual because they're a really good shooting team," MHS senior Bobby Prim said. "So when we came out and got on them early, which was our game plan, we did rattle them. That played in our favor the rest of the game."

Morgantown took a nine-point lead after the quarter and never looked back. They used a 9-0 run to end the third quarter to build an 55-38 advantage.

Then an 8-0 spurt by the Mohigans gave them a 65-42 advantage. By spreading the court, MHS took advantage of the mismatches it had in terms of quickness and drove repeatedly for baskets or drew fouls.

MHS outscored Fairmont Senior, 19-9 from the free-throw line.

"We got the lead, spread them out and it's tough to guard us," MHS head coach Tom Yester said.

Morgantown seemed to ride the wave of emotion from its two-point victory it had against Fairmont Senior on Prim's buzzer beater at MHS.

"After that game, we knew anything could happen," Prim said. "I had a feeling we'd play them again. They've been ranked No. 1 for most of the year. We came in this game a lot more confident since we won that game than if we had lost. They would have beaten us twice that would have been no good for us. We weren't over confident, but we came in knowing what we had to do."

MHS also learned its lesson from losing to FSHS by 19 points earlier in the season.

"That showed us we just couldn't go out there and just play," MHS senior Justin Vidovich said. "We had to come out with intensity and that we have to hit the boards. I think it helped us more instead of hurt us because we came back with fire after that."

Vidovich sounded prophetic in terms of talking about rebounding considering MHS owned a 33-23 rebounding edge against the taller Polar Bears.

Vidovich scored 13 points while Prim added 12 points and seven assists. Hedges chipped in 10 points and nine rebounds and Shaver grabbed eight boards to go along with his 22 points.

Cornelius Dillard paced Fairmont Senior with 16 points while John Stanley contributed 11 points and seven boards.

A year ago, Morgantown High lost to East Fairmont in the regional final. On Tuesday night, the Mohigans were not to be denied.

"It's a great feeling," Prim said. "Probably the best feeling I've ever had. We didn't want to leave here again with our heads down saying what might have been. There was no next year for the seniors. We had to make this work. We've been playing baskeball together for probably 12 years. We knew this was our last chance to make this happen. We just came in here and did it."

Box score



Hedges 3 3-5 10, Prim 3 6-8 12, Shaver 9 2-2 22, Fogarty 3 1-3 7, Vidovich 5 2-3 13, Rodamer 1 5-8 7, Dalton 2 0-0 4, Simpson 0 0-0 0, Williams 0 0-0 0, Murray 0 0-0 0. Totals 26 19-29 75.


Dillard 7 2-4 16, Stanley 4 3-3 11, Bridges 3 0-0 6, Sutherland 3 3-3 9, Hannah 1 0-0 2, Kettering 2 0-0 4, Edwards 1 0-0 3, Cimaglia 0 1-2 1, Whiting 0 0-0 0, Henson 0 0-0 0, Bartie 0 0-0 0, Minutelli 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 9-12 54.

Morgantown21 15 19 20 -- 75

Fairmont Senior12 12 14 16 -- 54

3-pointers-- Morgantown 4 (Shaver 2, Vidovich, Hedges); Fairmont Senior 1 (Edwards). Rebounds-- Morgantown 33 (Hedges 9), Fairmont Senior 23 (Stanley 7). Fouled out-- Bridges.