Sports in The Dominion Post

This article appeared in the Dominion Post Newspaper on February 14, 2004.
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Mohigans win, net NCACtitle

Hawks hang with MHS for half

Ian Benson/The Dominion Post

Morgantown's Ben Torsney (11 points, seven rebounds) looks for a shot against Randy Triplett.


The Dominion Post

When the top-ranked Morgantown High boys' basketball team plays host to No. 3 Martinsburg, at 7:30 tonight, the Mohigans won't only be undefeated going into the game, but also North Central Athletic Conference champions.

Despite a gutty effort by University High, the Mohigans pulled away in the second half for a 51-36 win Friday night.

The victory gave the Mohigans (16-0, 11-0 NCAC) their second consecutive conference title. It didn't come as easily, though, as many would have predicted.

"Well, we jumped out to a 6-0 lead and I think our guys must have been reading the headlines," MHS coach Tom Yester said. "You have to give University credit, though. They came back and took the lead and they played hard."

The Hawks (2-15, 2-10) took a 15-8 lead that prompted Yester to call a timeout. As soon as the teams made it to the bench, UHS students began taking pictures of the scoreboard with their cell phones.

"We battled with them tonight," UHS coach Bruce Clinton said. "The effort in the first half was what we were looking for. We didn't back down."

The Hawks saw a turnaround in the rebounding department. In the first meeting of the season, a 76-55 Mohigans victory, MHS completely dominated with its offensive rebounds.

Friday, UHS held a 15-13 first-half advantage in rebounds. For the game, MHS outrebounded the Hawks, 35-31.

"That was the biggest difference tonight was our guys actually went in there and played hard and with some heart," Clinton said. "We did a much better job of rebounding for that simple fact.

"They weren't able to get all of those offensive putbacks that they got in the first game, and that made a difference in the score."

The Hawks also were patient on offense, passing the ball around the perimeter and taking time off the clock.

"They were very patient on offense and it was a good plan on their part," Yester said. "We didn't have one of our better shooting nights and we missed some open looks."

It all added up to a slim 20-19 halftime advantage for the Mohigans.

"I didn't sense any frustration by our kids at halftime," Yester said. "I thought our defensive effort was pretty good."

It got better. The Mohigans held UHS without a field goal in the third quarter on their way to a 15-2 advantage.

"The third quarter killed us," Clinton said. "We couldn't knock down any shots in the second half. We asked the kids to be patient, but we stopped attacking the basket in the second half."

Ben Torsney and Kameron Law each scored 11 points to lead the Mohigans and Tyler Benson added nine.

University was led by Charles Cyphert's 14 points.

Morgantown 51

University 36

UNIVERSITY (2-15, 2-10 NCAC)

Gyorko 1 4-4 6, Lemine 0 0-0 0, Cyphert 4 4-7 14, Coker 2 0-0 4, Triplett 3 0-0 6, Jefferson 0 0-0 0, Claudio 1 4-4 6. Totals 11 12-15 36.

MORGANTOWN (16-0, 11-0)

Benson 3 2-2 9, Law 3 5-8 11, Jones 0 0-0 0, Holt 1 1-2 3, Torsney 3 5-6 11, Oliver 1 4-4 6, Kerns 0 0-0 0, Hall 0 0-0 0, Carey 3 1-1 7, Robinson 1 2-4 4. Totals 15 20-27 51.

University 15 4 2 15 -- 36

Morgantown 12 8 15 16 -- 51

3-point goals--University 2 (Cyphert 2), Morgantown 1 (Benson 1). Rebounds--University 31 (Cyphert 8), Morgantown 35 (Law 9).

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