MHS rally tops Princeton
Mohigans in tune for sectional play
Ron Rittenhouse/The Dominion Post

Morgantown High's Nick Hedges (55) maneuvers in the lane against Princeton defenders Anthony Hayes (left) and David Whittaker.


The Dominion Post

Morgantown High coach Tom Yester issued a challenge to his Mohigans heading into the final week of the regular season.

"If we're any good," he told his players, "this will be just like the state tournament."

If the Mohigans' performance in the playoffs is anything like its play last week, March will be a memorable month for MHS basketball.

One night after knocking off top-ranked Fairmont Senior at the buzzer, MHS rallied from a nine-point first-half deficit to defeat Princeton, 57-49, at MHS Gymnasium.

The victory wraps up a 3-0 week for the 19-3 Mohigans, who play the winner of Wednesday's Preston-University High game for the sectional title Friday, at Preston.

"We got what we wanted in terms of a championship look," Yester said. "Hopefully, we can put that in the bank and use it if we get that opportunity and make that opportunity."

MHS's seniors refused to lose their final home game. The Mohigans made only one basket -- a Bobby Prim 3-pointer -- in the fourth quarter, but won the game at the foul line.

Seniors Prim and Justin Vidovich sank 9 of 10 free throws in the final 1:01 to hold off the Tigers (15-7). Prim, who paced MHS with 18 points, cashed in on six straight free throws during a 17-second span in the last 53.7 seconds.

"I've been working on foul shots," said Prim, who hit the game-winning shot against Fairmont Senior, on Friday. "I didn't shoot too well a couple of games ago. Of course, my dad got on me. I've been practicing on them. I felt confident. I wanted the ball in my hands. If I show the team I'm willing to do it, they get their confidence up as well. They were getting me the ball, and I was knocking down the foul shots."

Oddly enough, one of the key plays of the game came on a missed MHS free throw. Vidovich hit the front end of a one-and-one with 1:01 left to put the Mohigans on top, 49-47.

Vidovich missed the second one, and Seth Fogarty tapped the precious rebound back to Vidovich, who rifled a pass to Prim. Princeton promptly fouled Prim, and he converted two free throws.

"The ball came to me," Fogarty said. "I really couldn't catch it, so I just hit it back to Vido. I think that was a key possession."

Rebounds and shots were tough to come by for MHS with the presence of Princeton's towering 6-foot-8 center, Daniel Reed. Reed, who will play college ball at St. Francis, Pa., led all scorers with 24 points, but he dealt with MHS's Nick Hedges and a host of Mohigans players collapsing on him all evening.

"Earlier in the year we had some experience with Kevin Pittsnogle," Prim said of the WVU-bound Martinsburg center. "We doubled down on him pretty well tonight. We fouled him and didn't let him have too many easy shots. We made him kick it out to the guards."

In another game:

* Thomas Hooton made six 3-pointers and poured in 28 points to lead Preston past visiting NCAC rival Elkins, 77-65, in its regular-season finale. Chris Hartley scored 24 points and grabed eight rebounds for Preston (8-14), which hosts University in the sectional semifinals Wednesd ay. Steve Adams contributed 10 points and eight rebounds.

Nick Patella led Elkins (11-10) with 25 points.



Hedrick 2 1-2 6, East 2 0-0 4, Smith 2 3-5 7, Jackson 1 0-0 2, Reed 10 4-5 24, Hayes 0 0-0 0, Whittaker 1 4-6 6. Totals 18 12-18 49.


Prim 4 6-6 18, Vidovich 4 4-5 12, Shaver 3 1-1 7, Hedges 4 2-3 10, Fogarty 2 2-6 6, Rodamer 2 0-0 4, Simpson 0 0-0 0, Dalton 0 0-0 0, Murray 0 0-0 0, Williams 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 15-21 57.