Sports in The Dominion Post

This article appeared in the Dominion Post Newspaper on March 23, 2003.
MHS's Yester: 'A year worth remembering'

Coach praises his seniors: 'They always came to play'

Ian Benson/The Dominion Post


MHScoach Tom Yester says seniors such as Seth Fogarty, shooting over Woodrow Wilson's Shane Maynard, helped the Mohigans establish a respected program.


The Dominion Post

CHARLESTON -- The Morgantown High boys' basketball team, according to coach Tom Yester, was a unit built on guts, determination and chemistry.

There wasn't a player on the roster who would jump off the page, so to speak, or could take over a game. Instead, the Mohigans survived game-to-game hoping their five were better than the opponent's five.

"I'm going to miss our seniors," Yester said Friday night, following a 62-52 loss to Martinburg High, in the state semifinals. "They always came to play and they worked extremely hard. What they've done for this program will be felt in the years to come."

For the second consecutive season, MHS advanced to the state's Final Four and won more than 20 games, finishing with a 21-5 record this season.

It was a team that recovered from a 1-2 start and ripped off 16 consecutive victories and rose as high as No. 4 in the state rankings.

It was seniors like Seth Fogarty, who continued to put forth a blue-collar effort on the boards, and players like Chad Murray and Matt Simpson, who seemed to bring an offensive spark with them off the bench, that made this MHS team special.

"Our guys know their roles well," Yester said. "Each guy had a little bit different role than the other and each kid has excelled in their roles at one time or another."

During its run, MHS toppled state-ranked teams such as Wheeling Park, Fairmont Senior, North Marion and Parkersburg South. Its crowning achievement may have been its 65-60 victory over Woodrow Wilson, in the first round of the state tournament.

"The kids' accomplishments speak for themselves," Yester said. "That's the first time we've ever beaten Woodrow Wilson. We beat Wheeling Park at Park for the first time. It's been a year worth remembering."

It came crashing down Friday night, as Martinsburg used its own brand of team chemistry and defense against the Mohigans.

"You look at what they did and it's what we usually get," Yester said. "They had three guys in double figures; well, that's what we usually have. We didn't get it tonight and that was the difference."

After two seasons of earning respect through long winning streaks, it appears the Mohigans are beginning to realize their dream of establishing themselves as a statewide program.

"I'd much rather be a team that gets that recognition from the start of the season and not have to sneak up the polls," Yester said earlier this season. "We're still in the process of building up our reputation and our program."

Although graduating seven seniors, the program seems to be in good hands. The Mohigans will return their two leading scorers -- Kameron Law and Tyler Benson -- along with center Ben Torsney, who averaged 10 points a game in his two tournament appearances.

"We're looking for bright things down the road," Yester said. "It's unfortunate that these guys couldn't take that next step, but we feel good with who we've got coming back."