MHS mauled by Parkersburg South

BY TODD MURRAY The Dominion Post

    Parkersburg South sure knows how to send Morgantown High’s Mohigans into the sectionals on a down note.
    Almost a year to the day after the Patriots spoiled MHS’s dream of an undefeated season with a 73-51 home thumping in the regularseason finale, Parkersburg South was at it again Saturday night.
    The Patriots scored 20 of the game’s first 22 points in mauling the eighth-ranked Mohigans, 80-56, at MHS gymnasium, in the regularseason finale.
    Parkersburg South (15-7) shot 72.2 percent in the first quarter in building an insurmountable 33-6 lead. The Mohigans (17-5) trailed by 29 points at halftime and could get no closer than 16 the rest of the way.
    “They were smoking,” MHS coach Tom Yester said. “For some reason, we weren’t focused. I don’t know why. They did it to us in the last game last year.”
    The Patriots’ Josh Gains recorded a double-double with game-high totals of 23 points and 13 rebounds. Austin McGee scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Reece Holtz finished with 11 points.
    The victory capped a fruitful weekend in the area for Parkersburg South, which won at Preston, 75-63, on Friday night. The Patriots closed out the regular season playing seven of eight games on the road.
    “It was a tough stretch for us,” Parkersburg South coach Roy Edman said. “But like I told the kids, ‘It gets you ready for tournament play.’ I was worried coming up here tonight. Tom (Yester) does a nice job.
    “They play hard. They proved it in the third quarter. We just shot the eyes out in the first half and put them in a hole. It was tough for them to get out.”
    Parkersburg South shot 64.2 percent in the first half, while the Mohigans connected on just 23 percent (6 of 26) of their shots. The Patriots employed a 1-2-1-1 or “diamond” press against MHS after made shots, and the Mohigans did not handle the pressure well.
    MHS’s turnover total approached 25.
    “We try to generate most of our offense through our defense,” Edman said. “That’s why we pressed a lot early. We were planning on playing more zone, but we got the lead and stayed in the man.”
    Yester was dismayed by his team’s performance against the press.
    “We only ran against (that press) yesterday in practice and this morning,” Yester said. “We did it incorrectly. That absolutely killed us.”
    Chris Carey and Emil Siriwardane paced the Mohigans with 15 points apiece. Marlan Robinson scored 10 points.
    “At least we didn’t give up,” Yester said. “We kept going and played hard. We had some close calls go against us. We could not knock down shots when we needed to in the second half.”
    MHS has little time to dwell on Saturday’s defeat. The Mohigans square off against University High at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, at MHS gymnasium.
    “We have to saddle up for Thursday,” Yester said. “The old saying is, ‘You’re never as good as you think you are when you’re winning, and you’re never as bad as you think you are when you’re losing.’ That’s the way we have to approach it. We have to play our rear end off Thursday night and see if we can get ourselves back together.”
    Parkersburg South dealt MHS’s junior varsity its first loss of the season with a 54-52 victory. The Mohigans (19-1) received nine points from Jared Ramsey and eight from Huston Strader.

Jonah Myers/The Dominion Post The Mohigans Emil Siriwardane drives past Parkersburg South’s Reece Holtz as teammate Quinn Law looks on.