Knights knock off MHS

Preston remains perfect on home court this year

BY RYAN MCNEIL The Dominion Post

    KINGWOOD — The Preston boys’ basketball team hadn’t lost a game at home all season before Wednesday’s contest, against Morgantown.
    The perfect home record figured to be in jeopardy against the Mohigans since the Knights hadn’t beat MHS since 2000.
    Fortunately for the Knights, their unbeaten streak at home is still alive as Preston knocked off Morgantown, 46-42.
    “This is a huge win,” PHS head coach Barry Sanders said. “We haven’t beaten Morgantown since 2000. To beat MHS and University in the same year is real big.”
    Sanders’ game plan was to slow the tempo and play solid defense. The Knights executed the strategy to perfection in the first three quarters, as the two teams were 27-27 heading into the fourth.
    “We did a great job on defense for the first three quarters,” Sanders said. “We didn’t double team the post in the second half. We decided to guard their shooters.”
    Trailing, 42-36, with less than a minute left, the Mohigans tried to shoot themselves back into the game. Point guard Jeff Lindsay hit a long 3-pointer with 47 seconds to cut the lead to three points.
    PHS guard Major Myers nailed two free throws but the Mohigans’ Jamie Karraker answered with a 3 from the corner to cut the lead to two. However, Karraker’s three would be Morgantown’s last points of the game.
    “Every loss is difficult,” MHS head coach Tom Yester said. “Our inability on offense and our inability to knock down free throws killed us.”
    Morgantown shot 8-of-19 from the free-throw line while Preston shot a sizzling 18-of-23.
    “Free throws win close games,” PHS center Josh Adams said. “We feel so much more comfortable at home. We shoot better.”
    Yester said the Knights did a better job of executing in the fourth quarter.
    “They were more patient in the end,” Yester said. “We didn’t want to play into their hands, but we did. Our young kids looked young tonight.”
    Karraker led the Mohigans with 11 points and added five rebounds. Adams led all players with 14 points and seven rebounds.
    Adams “is a horse,” Sanders said. “He did a real good job on the boards tonight.”
    Elliot Law returned to the Morgantown lineup for the first time since being involved in a car accident that also sidelined senior Marlan Robinson. Robinson did not play against Preston.
    Yester said he was pleased with his players’ effort but they need to improve their offensive output.
    “We were right there the whole game,” Yester said. “We won the turnover battle and our defense was really consistent. But we are going through some growing pains. We have to find our game on offense and we have to make our free throws, that really hurt us badly.”
    Sanders said his team was able to pull out the victory with a solid team effort.
    “We got the best shooters on the free-throw line in the fourth quarter,” Sanders said. “Our guards handled their pressure. It was a total team effort. I love the way our guys played tonight.”
    Adams said finally beating Morgantown should give his team more confidence later in the season.
    “This is the first time I have beat Morgantown,” Adams said. “It’s definitely a big thing, beating them and UHS. This is definitely a confidence boost.”
RYAN MCNEIL is a sports reporter for The Dominion Post. He can be reached at 
Todd Flint/The Dominion Post Morgantown’s Jamie Karraker lines up a 3-point shot as Preston’s Josh Adams hustles past John Hatfield to contest it. Adams led all scorers with 14 points in the Knights’ big victory.

MORGANTOWN (11-3) Hatfield 2 2-4 7, Lindsay 3 0-0 8, Lewis 1 5-10 7, Ramsey 0 0-0 0, Pearson 2 1-3 5, Taylor 1 0-0 2, Karraker 4 0-0 11, Law 1 0-0 2, Holt 0 0-2 0, Ryan 0 0-0 0, Fletcher 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 8-19 42. PRESTON (10-6) Jennings 3 2-2 8, Johnson 0 1-2 1, Adams 5 4-6 14, Myers 1 4-4 7, Dupont 2 4-5 8, Wotring 1 2-2 5, Mersing 0 0-0 0, Layton 1 1-2 3, Kelly 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 18-23 46. Morgantown High 9 11 7 15 — 42 Preston High 14 5 8 19 — 46 3-point goals—Morgantown 6 (Karraker 3, Lindsay 2, Hatfield 1), Preston 2 (Wotring 1, Myers 1).