Sports in The Dominion Post

This article appeared in the Dominion Post Newspaper on February 15, 2004.
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MHS mashes Martinsburg

Law, Benson pick up pace, Morgantown

Jason DeProspero

The Dominion Post

Morgantown High's Chris Carey splits Martinsburg defenders Nate Sowers (left) and Darrell Johnson on a layup attempt but draws a foul instead. Carey scored 13 points and pulled down nine rebounds to help the Mohigans rout the Bulldogs on Saturday.


The Dominion Post

A funny thing this thing called basketball can be.

With 48 seconds remaining Saturday night, in what would become a 78-58 victory for top-ranked Morgantown High against No. 3 Martinsburg, there stood Morgantown's Kameron Law at his own free-throw line with a smile from ear to ear, getting a rise out of the Mohigans' student section.

About 45 minutes earlier, the only thing Law was getting a rise out of was his coach's blood pressure.

The senior had just two points at halftime and shooting guard Tyler Benson had tallied only four.

"You can say we challenged Kameron at halftime," Morgantown coach Tom Yester said in a tone that let you know the locker room wasn't Law's favorite place Saturday night. "It was a horrible first half for him."

Law responded. Benson responded. The Mohigans responded.

And what was supposed to be one of the better games of the season quickly turned into a rout, as the Mohigans left no doubt around the state who is No. 1.

"I had only three shots at halftime," Law said. "The coaches told me I had to take more shots and I had to become aggressive on the inside. I had to work my way inside-out. I had to score underneath and work my way out for the jumpshot."

And that's exactly what Law did, scoring 13 of his 15 points and grabbing eight of his nine rebounds in the second half.

Then there was Benson, who in one stretch from midway through the third quarter through the early part of the fourth put the game out of reach with his 3-point shooting.

Benson hit four of them in the second half on his way to a game-high 18 points.

"Tyler definitely got his stroke back, and boy did we need it," Law said. "That's the best he's shot probably since the Brooke game last year, when he hit eight 3s in one half.

"When Tyler started getting hot, that's when I felt the game was ours. I could sense it was going to go our way."

Benson's final 3-pointer came with 6:10 left in the fourth to give the Mohigans (17-0) a 58-53 lead. Benson's night came to an early end, though. With 4:23 left, he was fouled under the basket, and when he came to his feet, blood was trickling down his head.

"Just caught an elbow, it wasn't intentional. You could say my head got in the way," Benson said. "It felt great, though, getting my shot back. I didn't feel good in warm-ups. I wasn't getting enough lift on the ball. I had a bad first half and coach told me to just keep shooting the ball.

"They started to drop for me in the second half and everybody else got in the act and we picked up a big win. No longer can people say all we do is beat the little teams. We beat South Charleston and now we've beaten Martinsburg. This is a huge win for us."

It was a game of runs in the first half. The Mohigans took a 21-14 lead in the first quarter; Martinsburg (13-3) rallied for a 34-29 lead at halftime.

"We were 2-of-12 from 3-point range in the first half," Yester said. "I told them they were darn lucky we weren't losing by 12 or even more."

While Law and Benson lifted the Mohigans in the second half, it was Ben Torsney in the first half, when the senior center scored 10 of his 16 points.

"Ben carried us in the first half," Law said. "It if wasn't for Ben, we may have been down by too much. That's what's great about this team is that we play good team ball. If somebody is having an off night, there's always somebody picking it up. We had guys coming off the bench tonight getting the job done. This was a great team effort."

The Mohigans were ranked No. 4 in preseason after advancing to the state's past two Final Fours.

"This win definitely validates us," Yester said. "I don't think there can be anybody else out there that doesn't think we're for real. Martinsburg is one of the elite programs in the state. Everybody picked them to win at the beginning of the season, but now our guys have to keep working hard.

"They have to continue to prove they belong at the top."

Morgantown 78

Martinsburg 58


Benavides 0 0-0 0, Barrett 5 2-4 13, Sowers 3 4-7 11, Brown 0 0-0 0, Horst 5 3-3 13, Johnson 5 0-0 13, Richmond 4 0-0 8. Totals 22 9-14 58.


Benson 7 0-0 18, Law 5 5-5 15, Jones 0 2-2 2, Holt 0 0-2 0, Torsney 8 0-3 16, Oliver 2 1-2 6, Kerns 0 2-2 2, Hall 1 0-0 2, Carey 4 3-4 13, Dunn 0 0-0 0, Straface 0 0-0 0, Robinson 1 2-2 4. Totals 28 15-22 78.

Martinsburg 14 20 16 8 -- 58

Morgantown 12 8 24 25 -- 78

3-point goals--Martinsburg 5 (Johnson 3, Sowers 1, Barrett 1), Morgantown 7 (Benson 4, Carey 2, Oliver 1). Rebounds--Martinsburg 27 (Horst 9), Morgantown 44 (Law, Carey, Torsney 9). Junior varsity--Morgantown 91 (Jeff Lindsay 19, Emil Sirwardane 18), Martinsburg 62.

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