Hawks sweep MHS
Gyorko (15), Jefferson (12) pace UH

JUSTIN JACKSON is a sports reporter for The Dominion Post. He can be reached at sports@dominionpost.com 
    There wasn’t one, but a big flashing neon sign should have been hung in the Morgantown High gymnasium following University High’s 43-40 victory against its crosstown rival Friday.
    And it should have read, in big capital letters: CAUTION. As in, caution to the ninth-ranked Hawks, who pulled off their first regular-season sweep of the No. 8 Mohigans since the 2000-’01 season.
    What happened that season, you ask?
    The Mohigans (12-5) won the sectional game and advanced to the regional final.
    That 2000-’01 season for UHS mirrors so much of what’s happening in 2006. UHS (13-4) now sits alone at the top of the North Central Athletic Conference standings. UHS won its first NCAC title in the 2000-’01 season.
    Former UHS standout Scott Gyorko was named the conference’s Player of the Year in 2000-’01; his younger brother, Jedd, may be the frontrunner this season, after scoring 15 points, including two crucial 3-pointers in the second half.
    “It’s a big victory for us for the conference standings,” UHS coach Bruce Clinton said. “Any time you beat Morgantown, it’s a big victory.”
    It was so big, UHS students were seen celebrating in the MHS parking lot after the game.
    But, and there’s always a but, Clinton knows there’s still work to be done.
    “The big one is the third game,” Clinton said. “That’s the most important one and we have to build on this and continue to work hard.”
    It was not a particularly wellplayed game, although the matchup had enough story lines to overcome that.
    The game marked the return of MHS forward Elliott Law, who along with teammate Marlan Robinson was hurt in a car accident Jan. 22. Law entered the game with 1:45 left in the first quarter and immediately committed a foul. He finished with three points and four rebounds.
    “I thought Elliott did about as much as he could considering the time he’s been out,” MHS coach Tom Yester said. “He played hard and brought some excitement to the lineup.”
    Robinson, too, rejoined the team for the first time — on the bench in street clothes. It’s still unclear whether he’ll be able to return to the court.
    Both teams struggled shooting the ball from the start and the game was 6-6 at the end of the first quarter. A few sacrifice bunts and two-run home runs later and UHS held a 24-18 halftime lead.
    “I was surprised by the tempo, but you have to give credit to Morgantown for playing good zone defense,” Clinton said. “We have plays set up against the 2-3 zone, but we were not executing them tonight, so I pulled it out and tried to make them come out of the zone. It was a slowdown tactic, but it worked for us in the end.”
    The Hawks won despite making just five baskets in the second half, the biggest coming when UHS broke the Mohigans’ full-court pressure and Grant Meadows connected on a traditional 3-point play with 14 seconds left to give UHS a 42-38 lead.
    L.C. Jefferson recorded a rebound and was fouled and made 1 of 2 attempts for the Hawks and Jamie Karraker scored a meaningless basket at the buzzer for the Mohigans.
    “Our problems had nothing to do with defense tonight,” Yester said. “Our problems was with our offense. We had a few fast-break opportunities we didn’t finish early in the game and then we couldn’t find any consistency.”

Jason DeProspero/The Dominion Post Morgantown High’s Elliott Law hangs with Hawks Grant Meadows (left) and Ryan Nehlen.

UNIVERSITY (13-4) Gyorko 6 0-0 15, Romain 0 0-0 0, Nehlen 1 0-1 2, Jefferson 4 2-3 12, Michael 1 2-2 4, Collins 0 0-0 0, Meadows 2 6-8 10. Totals 14 10-14 43. MORGANTOWN (12-5) Karraker 3 2-2 8, Lewis 0 0-0 0, Law 1 1-2 3, Lindsay 4 2-2 13, Ramsey 0 0-0 0, Hatfield 3 3-4 10, Pearson 0 0-0 0, Taylor 3 0-0 6, Holt 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 8-10 40. University 6 18 6 13 — 43 Morgantown 6 12 15 7 — 40 3-point goals—University 5 (Gyorko 3, Jefferson 2), Morgantown 4 (Lindsay 3, Hatfield 1). Rebounds—University 29 (Meadows 8), Morgantown 39 (Hatfield 13). Fouledout—Lewis. JV—University 90 (Messenger 20), Morgantown 86 (Schifano 28), OT.