Mohigans Finally Get Some Respect
By Johnny Mohigan
Morgantown, Oak Glen and Gilmer County remained in first place in their respective classes Sunday in The Associated Press boys statewide high school basketball poll. Morgantown (17-0) and Oak Glen (18-0) are the only remaining unbeaten teams and are atop Class AAA and Class AA, respectively, after a vote of 10 sports writers across the state. The Mohigans were a unanimous first-place selection in Class AAA. South Charleston was second, followed by Woodrow Wilson, George Washington, Huntington, Martinsburg, St. Albans, Hedgesville, Robert C. Byrd and Parkersburg South. Martinsburg and Morgantown were neck-in-neck atop the big-school poll, but Martinsburg has lost three of its last four games and fell to Morgantown 78-58 on Saturday night.
* Tug Valley was back atop Class AA on Sunday in The Associated Press girls statewide high school basketball poll. South Charleston and Mount de Chantal remained first in Class AAA and Class A, respectively, according to a panel of 10 sports writers acros s the state. Tug Valley and Sissonville, last week's No. 1 team and the defending state champion, have been in a season-long tug-of-war for the top spot in their class. The order of the top four teams in Class AAA remains unchanged. South Charleston remains a unanimous first-place pick, followed by Nitro, Morgantown and Capital. Parkersburg South jumped two spots to fifth, followed by Wheeling Park, Hedgesville, University, Huntington and Ripley.
Face it, the Mohigans are not just a good team -- they are a GREAT
> team! We've all heard, "Well, they're not playing any real
> competition" or "It's easy to beat the teams in your conference." That kind of talk can stop now. The Mohigans have proven that they can play at
the State level. Even though they have been to the state tourney 3 out of the last 4 seasons and a one point loss to State champion Cabell Midland in the semi-finals in 2002, statewide respect has been slow to come. But can you blame them? MHS has never won a state championship in basketball. But Saturday night the Mohigans showed that they are for real.
> Final Score: Morgantown 78, Martinsburg 58.
> The Bulldogs, who were rated Number 1 until just last week, lost
> three of their last four games.
> True, Martinsburg has had to play 5 games in 8 days due to make-up
> games, but MHS has had two weekends of back-to-back games.
> Morgantown played three games in four days last week (Preston and
> Wheeling Park away, North Marion at home). Then this past week,
> Friday and Saturday
> (University High, Martinsburg.) And the Mohigan winning streak
> continues to grow.
> Maybe Martinsburg just ran out of steam in the second half Saturday
> night. Or maybe they forgot about Tyler Benson and Ben Torsney.
> Benson missed three 3-point attempts in the first half, but he
> rallied with a vengeance in the second half, with four perfect 3-
> pointers and some nice inside shots. He was on a hot streak until
> sidelined by an injury in the fourth quarter, which kept him out for
> the remainder of the game. The Bulldogs also seemed to forget that
> Torsney could do more than play defense, because he easily made a
> number of baskets from in the paint.
> But wait, there's more. These are not one-dimensional players.
> While Kameron Law can rack up the points, he's also top-notch at
> blocking shots and rebounding (Torsney's other areas of expertise).
> Chris Carey has undoubtedly surpassed all expectations -- if he's
> not scoring, he's picking up a lot of assists, and his pressure
> defense is working well. His free throw percentage is near perfect.
> As far as I'm concerned, John Oliver has earned the "Sixth Man
> Award". When Oliver comes off the bench, he adds a quick 4 or 6 to
> the Mohigan's score. And he's also excellent at the charity stripe.
> Marlan Robinson would also be a contender for the Sixth Man Award.
> When you see Robinson check into the game, you KNOW that
> something's going to happen. Robinson can rebound, steal, and score,
> and make it look so effortless.
> Dusty Kerns and Justin Hall both do exceptionally well as point
> guard (so does Carey). Hall reacts well to high-pressure situations,
> and Kerns does a nice job on defense.
> I enjoy watching Tyler Jones and Drew Holt when they're playing
> under the basket. Jones has a tremendous vertical leap and does
> well at rebounding. Holt doesn't jump as high, but he's good at
> knocking the opponent out of the way while rebounding.
> Nick Straface and Andrew Dunn have been seeing more playing time on
> the JV team, but they still have the energy to play on the Varsity
> team. Straface is good at picking off the long football-like passes,
> and Dunn quietly gets right in there, and can steal and score.
> Everyone on the MHS team has contributed to every win -- players and
> coaches, statisticians, managers, and trainers. Give the coaches
> the credit and respect they are due. Tom Yester and his coaching
> staff have to make the decisions on who to play and how to play.
> And they don't have time to stop and think about it; it's an
> automatic decision, more of a reaction, under pressure and usually
> in a noisy gym.
> The Mohigans are definitely a team to be reckoned with. They've
> beat Martinsburg, and they've beat South Charleston. And a pre-
> season scrimmage against Beckley went well for the Mohigans.
> They've shown that they can run with the big dogs, and come out on
> The true test will come at the sectional and regional levels. At
> the end of the regular season, all records are "thrown out" and all
> teams start with a 0- 0 record. Having a great regular season
> record won't help at that point, but skill, teamwork, and a never-
> say-die attitude will carry the team far.
> Check one of our websites (www.mhsbasketball.net or
> www.mohiganbasketball.com) for up-to-date information on regular
> season and post-season games. Come out and support the Number 1
> team in West Virginia!