MHS’s Carey first-team all-state

Capitol’s Miller named W.Va. Class AAA boys’ player of the year

Staff and wire reports

SEE THE COMPLETE Class AAA boys’ all-state team in Scoreboard. Page 2-C. 
    This was a very good week in the Carey house.
    WVU women’s basketball coach Mike Carey led his team to the final of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament, where it lost to Southwest Missouri State.
    Saturday his son, Mike, was named to the West Virginia Class AAA All-State basketball team.
    Carey was joined on the team by Capitol’s Josh “Cookie” Miller, the state’s player of the year, and sophomore Patrick Patterson, of state champion Huntington; junior Josh Daniel, of South Charleston; and seniors Adam Fletcher, of St. Albans, Sean Michael, of Parkersburg, Ben Adkins, of George Washington, and Rico Thompson, of Woodrow Wilson.
    Carey, a 6-4 guard, averaged 20 points, nearly five rebounds and three steals. He shot 45 percent from the floor and 74 percent at the foul line. He led the Mohigans (20-6) into the state tournament semifinals with a 28-point, 11-rebound effort in a 62-60 first-round win, against South Charleston, and hit the winning shot with 1.9 seconds left.
    Carey pointed to that as the high point of his season. “The highlight was coming back from being down 11, 12 (points) in the fourth quarter in the first round. To get over that hump from the year before. We started almost the exact same way as last year and did not want to go out like that again.”
    It was Carey’s ability to rise to the occasion that made him special, according to his coach, Tom Yester.
    “You’ve got to give him credit. He had the toughness to go for it. When it counted, he wanted to shoot the shot that made the difference,” Yester said. “The number one thing is, he always has the will to win. He’s willing to work. He dives out of bonds for a ball even in a situation doesn’t count.”
    Carey also is a skilled player. “He’s developed the three-part game,” Yester said. “He can post up. He can shoot the 3 with anyone. He can shoot the jumper. Along with that he can pass.”
    Carey is heading for Fairmont State next year.
    University High’s Jedd Gyorko, a 5-10, sophomore who averaged 19 ppg, was voted to the third team.
    Area honorable mention players included MHS’s Marlan Robinson, UHS’s L.C. Jefferson and Dallion Lewis, and Preston’s Chad Chambers and Dane Greaser.
    Miller, a 5-8 senior, capped his brilliant career at Capital by leading his team to a 21-5 record and the state tournament semifinals to earn player of the year honors and be selected as first-team captain of the all-state team.
    It was Miller’s court vision that set him apart from just about every player Carl Clark has ever coached.
    ‘‘I really only had one player who had the passing ability (of Miller) and he wasn’t quite as good a ballhandler,’’ Clark said.
    That was Stewart Mitchell, who led Stonewall Jackson to back-toback AAA championships in 1985-’86, when Clark was an assistant coach.
    What Miller did — quite routinely — was blow past defenders with a wicked crossover dribble or wow crowds with a variety of creative passes, be it no-look, under-theleg, over-the-shoulder or behindthe-back.
    Miller finished with a schoolrecord 1,581 points, but it’s probably his passing and ballhandling that will be recalled most fondly by fans and by his coach.
    ‘‘It’s going to be different not having him,’’ Clark said. ‘‘He started 80-some games for us. We relied on so many things that he does.
    ‘‘With him, we didn’t have to worry about teams pressing us with his ball-handling skills. That is something we’ll have to look to other players for — more so as a team — breaking presses and pushing the ball up and down the floor in a break situation. Seeing the floor and the quickness he had is going to be hard, right now, for any of our players coming back to simulate.’’
    Patterson, a 6-7 center, stamped himself as the top candidate for player of the year honors next season with a strong finish for the Highlanders (24-2). He averaged 12.6 points, 11.6 rebounds and four blocked shots.
    During his three games in the state tournament, Patterson averaged 17 points, 16.3 rebounds, 5.3 blocks and three assists. His imposing presence under the basket helped limit Highlanders opponents to 46.1 ppg this season. Patterson finished third in the state player of the year balloting.
    Daniel, a 6-5 guard, was the state’s top Class AAA scorer and rated third overall in West Virginia with his 24.7 average. He scored 617 points, the second-highest season total in school history behind Gay Elmore’s 691, in the 1981-’82 season.
    He poured in 43 points during an 83-60 victory against Woodrow Wilson early in the season and wound up hitting 46 3-point goals and averaging 10 rebounds. Daniel enters his senior season with 1,091 career points.
    Fletcher, a 6-9 center, was runnerup to Miller in the state player of the year voting. He averaged 20.7 points, 15 rebounds and four assists for the Red Dragons. In games he played, SA allowed an average of 51.2 points. A Division I signee with Miami (Ohio), Fletcher finished with 1,107 career points.
    Michael, a 6-4 wing, averaged 20.2 points and six rebounds while shooting 60 percent from the floor. His Big Reds (20-3) won 17 straight games and rose to No. 1 in the state poll before finishing the regular season ranked third. A three-year starter, he scored 1,118 career points and tallied a personal best of 39 against Robert C. Byrd, as a junior.
    Adkins, a 6-4 center, helped the Patriots (19-4) capture the Mountain State Athletic Conference championship and end the regular season ranked No. 1 in the state as he averaged a team-high 14.4 points and 10.2 rebounds and shot 71 percent at the free-throw line. A rare fouryear starter, he finished with 1,189 career points.
    Thompson, a 6-0 guard, tied for the team scoring lead with junior brother Mario Thompson at 12.9 points per game. Rico Thompson tossed in a season-high 25 points in the state tournament championship game loss to Huntington. He led the Flying Eagles (19-8) in their three-game state tournament run by averaging nearly 17 points, six rebounds and two assists.

Jonah Myers/The Dominion Post
Chris Carey splits two South Charleston defenders to shoot, in the first round of the state tourney.