Sports in The Dominion Post

This article appeared in the Dominion Post Newspaper on March 14, 2004.
'Mature' MHS set for state

Yester points out: 'Been there before'


The Dominion Post

The Morgantown High boys' basketball team will be making its eighth state tournament appearance under coach Tom Yester, but Yester said Saturday this may be the most confident bunch yet.

A 23-1 record and No. 1 ranking will do that for you.

"More than the ranking, our guys have been there before. This is a mature bunch," Yester said.

What about those other years?

"One year we ended up playing Stonewall Jackson in the first round when they were loaded and it was the last year of their school, so they were pretty fired up and won the whole thing," Yester said. "It seemed like all the other times we started off with Beckley (Woodrow Wilson), and you know they're loaded and they usually won it all."

But this could be the Mohigans' year. Aside from records and rankings, the Mohigans have gone through a nearly perfect regular season that included games with ranked teams such as Martinsburg, South Charleston, Wheeling Park and Parkersburg South. The preseason began with a scrimmage against Woodrow Wilson.

"They've pretty much seen it all," Yester said. "As far as going up against state-tournament caliber players and teams, we've done it. We should be well prepared."

The Mohigans' run for their first title in school history begins Wednesday, at 7:15 p.m., against No. 3 Huntington (21-3), at the Charleston Civic Center.

For the first time, the Mohigans are the favorites. The question now is: Can they handle it?

"This is the third year in a row we've been there," Yester said. "The guys know you just can't be satisfied by making it down there, which you'll see from a lot of teams.

"As far as rankings go, though, those numbers won't mean a darn thing when the game starts. Huntington isn't going to care that we're No. 1. It won't make a bit of difference at all. Either we're going to play well or not."

The Mohigans entered postseason play surrounded by questions concerning the status of forward Kameron Law's knee.

When he scored 26 points in the Region I title game against John Marshall, those questions were answered.

"Going in, I really think we have the right attitude," Yester said. "The big thing is you can't just hope to win. Our guys are going down expecting to win."