Mohigans lack spark in loss to Wheeling Park 2/5/05

Yester: ‘Didn’t match their intensity’

BY JOSH STROPE The Dominion Post
    With WVU’s basketball team playing Pittsburgh in the evening, Morgantown’s game with Wheeling Park was moved up to Saturday afternoon.
    Maybe they should have scheduled it for a later date.
    The Patriots led most of the game and squeaked out a 58-53 win.
    “We played uninspired basketball and I don’t know why,” MHS coach Tom Yester said.
    While the defensive effort was there for the Mohigans (12-3), the No. 5 team in the state didn’t have the baskets.
    “There were times when I felt we took a better shot than they did, but the difference was their shots went in,” Yester said.
    MHS’s Chris Carey led all scorers with 22 points but was the only Mohigan who seemed able to get a shot to fall.
    After a scoreless first half, Marlan Robinson got on track with 12 points, but it was too little, too late for MHS.
    “Marlan is most effective when he penetrates and drives to the basket,” Yester said. “Why he didn’t do that is a mystery to me.”
    Carey and Robinson were the only Mohigans to score in double digits, making it tough to win against a Patriots team that had balanced scoring all around.
    Four Patriots scored in double figures, led by Derek Syrylo, with 13.
    No baskets were bigger for Syrylo than the two free throws he hit at the end. The Patriots led at halftime, 32-24, after a 16-8 second-quarter advantage, forcing the Mohigans to play catch-up the entire second half. They got it to 54-53 when Syrylo was fouled with 17.1 seconds remaining.
    The student section made as much noise as it could, but Syrylo calmly sank both shots to put Park up by three.
    Carey took a final shot from beyond the arc, but Keyshawn Creighton got a hand on the ball and deflected the shot.
    It landed in Syrylo’s hands, and he was immediately fouled. He sank the final two shots and the Mohigans’ chances.
    “All of a sudden our shooters couldn’t shoot,” Yester said.
    A team that has connected on 83 3-point shots to 67 by their opponents, the Mohigans were only able to hit two, one by Carey and the other by Jeff Lindsay.
    While the defeat was heartbreaking, the Mohigans might have suffered a worse loss. Dusty Kerns injured his right shoulder in the second quarter after knocking the ball away from a driving Sean Thomas. His status remains uncertain.
    “We didn’t match their intensity, and we have to just learn from this game,” Yester said.
    Less than a week away from a rematch with University, Yester knows his team needs to find that fire.
    “There is going to be a lot of excitement up on Hawk Hill Thursday,” Yester said. “We need to get in the right mindset real quick.”

Wheeling Park 58 (6) Morgantown 53
    Syrylo 3 6-7 13, Schramm 5 0-0 11, Thomas 4 0-0 8, Creighton 5 1-1 11, Goodwin 5 0-1 11, Pearson 2 0-0 4. Totals 24 7-10 58.
    MORGANTOWN (12-3)
    Kerns 1 0-0 2, Lindsay 2 0-0 5, Oliver 1 0-0 2, Carey 8 5-8 22, Law 4 0-0 8, Hatfield 0 0-2 0, Robinson 5 2-2 12, Dunn 1 0-1 2. Totals 22 7-14 53. Wheeling Park 16 16 11 15 — 58 Morgantown 16 8 12 17 — 53
    3-point goals—Wheeling Park 3 (Syrylo 1, Schramm 1, Goodwin 1), Morgantown 2 (Carey 1, Lindsay 1). Rebounds—Wheeling Park 31 (Goodwin 10), Morgantown 26 (Robinson 7).Juniorvarsity—Morgantown 51 (Karraker 15, Lewis 14, Saab 10), Wheeling Park 44 (Beck 14).

Jonah Myers/The Dominion Post Morgantown’s Quinn Law finds his path to the basket blocked by Wheeling Park’s Duree Goodwin (left) and Keyshawn Creighton (back).