No call? No bawl for MHS

Players, coach proud of effort


The Dominion Post

CHARLESTON -- With six minutes left in the game, Bobby Prim's drive to the basket would have ended with two free throws.

But with six seconds left, Prim's desperation drive ended in despair.

"In most situations like that, it's tough for an official to blow his whistle," MHS coach Tom Yester said. "That's just the way it goes."

The failed last-second drive ended Morgantown High's drive for the school's first state title Friday with a 52-51 loss to Cabell Midland, in the boys' state basketball Class AAA semifinals.

Saturday, it was one of the most talked-about plays on press row.

"I was just trying to create some contact," Prim said of the play. "There was obviously some contact, but the official didn't make a call. That's a tough call to make in that situation. I guess it just wasn't meant to be."

As he drove the lane, looking for a game-winning basket with his team down by a point, Prim got jostled between two defenders and lost the ball. With no foul called, Midland's Mark Patton grabbed the ball and the clock ran out.

Did MHS belong in the state tournament? Yes.

Could the Mohigans have defeated South Charleston for the state title? We'll never know, but MHS did prove one thing.

"We wanted to prove that we could play with teams down here," Yester said. "I think we accomplished that. Not many people gave this team a chance at the start of the season, but the kids proved they could play with anybody in this state."

That they did. Morgantown's dream season ended at 22-4 with four senior starters averaging double figures in scoring.

"The seniors were the story of this team," Yester said. "They held this team together and made the younger guys work hard."

In the end, however, it just wasn't enough. The Mohigans' lack of size may have finally caught up with them, as Patton, Cabell's 6-foot-9 star center, scored 23 points and added eight rebounds.

The Mohigans also were hurt by two key Cabell Midland offensive rebounds of missed free throws in the fourth quarter.

But, much as they had all season, even in defeat the Mohigans amazed.

How were they even in the game to begin with? How were they even in the state tournament?

What local fans had discovered throughout the season, the rest of the state got to see over the Mohigans' two days of competition.

"This team had heart, plain and simple," MHS forward Ronnie Shaver said. "We never quit and we never backed down from nobody. That was our mentality the whole season.

"By no means am I ashamed. We have nothing to be ashamed of. Nobody expected us to make it this far. We came out and played hard all the time and with a lot of heart."

Many would think that heart was broken in the end, but it wasn't.

"There are no losers in this room," Yester said. "These kids played with guts and a lot of determination. They should be proud of themselves."