Half a game enough for Mohigans, 61-44
Pull away from PHS

Bob Gay/The Dominion Post

Morgantown High's Nick Hedges (55) and Preston's Thomas Hooton tangle for the ball in their game Wednesday.

The Dominion Post

As opening night for the high school boys' basketball season drew to a close Wednesday, one thing was still very unclear about Morgantown High:

Are the Mohigans going to be an average team or are they going to be very good?

Reason being, the Mohigans looked like a completely different team in the second half than they did in the first half of their 61-44 victory over Preston High.

"I think in the second half the kids calmed down a little bit and just played basketball," MHS coach Tom Yester said. "I think in the first half they were a little excited."

The players may have been excited, but they created very little of it.

"That first half was pretty bad," MHS forward Ronnie Shaver said. "We just couldn't hit anything. I thought we were able to play good defense in the first half, but we certainly didn't do anything on the offensive side."

Poor shooting and good defense by both teams resulted in a 23-20 halftime lead for the Mohigans (1-0).

Then came the second half.

"The second half was a lot of fun," said Shaver, who scored 14 of his game-high 16 points after intermission. "Everybody got out and we started running. We crashed the boards really hard and everybody sort of got into the act."

The Mohigans left little doubt who was going to win by the time the game reached the middle of the third quarter.

"Our three keys were rebounding, defense and poise tonight," Yester said. "I think we accomplished the first two. I'm not sure about the third one. But I thought the kids came out and played aggressively. I thought the offensive rebounds we got in the second half were really the key."

Shaver, Seth Fogarty and Nick Hedges dominated the boards, while Bobby Prim put the exclamation point on the game with a no-look pass to Shaver in the fourth quarter.

"We basically just had to make sure we stuck with the game plan," Shaver said. "Tonight, we wanted to get out and run. We didn't do enough of that in the first half."

Prim, Hedges and Justin Vidovich each added nine points for the Mohigans, while Preston (0-1) was led by Chris Hartley's 12 points and seven rebounds. Preston's Thomas Hooton, one of the leading scorers in the NCAC last season, was held to nine points.

"We still have a lot of work to do," Shaver said. "I think overall, nobody is really pleased with the way the team played tonight. I'm sure our practice (today) will be interesting."

Equally as interesting will be seeing which MHS team shows up for the other 21 games.

In another game Wednesday:

* Four players scored in double figures as Buckhannon-Upshur beat visiting University High, 55-51, in the season and NCAC opener for both teams. Chris Carson led the Bucs with 16 points, Jeremy Davis had 13, and Ryan Koury and and James Egress added 10 ap iece. Ben Bradley and Jay Forsythe led the Hawks with 14 points each. "We missed too many putbacks and breakaways and gave up too many at their end," Hawks coach Dick Parsons said.



Hooton 2 4-4 9, Hartley 4 3-6 12, Hayes 3 2-4 9, White 1 2-3 4, Adams 2 0-0 4, Westbrook 2 0-0 4, N. Taylor 1 0-0 2, P. Taylor 0 0-0 0, Totals 15 11-17 44.


Hedges 4 1-1 9, Prim 3 2-2 9, Shaver 6 4-6 16, Vidovich 4 0-0 9, Fogarty 4 0-1 8, Dalton 0 0-0 0, Murray 3 0-0 6, Rodamer 0 0-0 0, Simpson 2 0-0 4, Totals 26 7-10 61.

Preston High 10 10 11 13 -- 44

Morgantown High 10 13 20 18 -- 61

3-point goals--MHS 2 (Prim, Vidovich), PHS 3 (Hooton, Hartley, Hayes). Rebounds--MHS 37 (Shaver 9), PHS 21 (Hartley 7). JV-- MHS, 73-36.