UNIVERSITY 70 MORGANTOWN 68
Hawks hold off MHS
Trio leads University to OT win
BY JUSTIN JACKSON The Dominion Post
JUSTIN JACKSON is a sports reporter for The Dominion Post. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Three Amigos kept the Cinderella story that is the University High boys basketball team alive.
Grant Meadows, L.C. Jefferson and Jedd Gyorko combined for 61 points and 28 rebounds to lead the eighth-ranked Hawks past No. 7 Morgantown High, 70-68, in overtime Friday night, at the UHS gymnasium, to win the Region I, Section 2 championship.
Their big three, that was the story for them tonight, MHS coach Tom Yester said. Theyre good, what can you say? They played great and made the plays when they had to and we just came up a little short.
The game featured more heroes than a Saturday morning cartoon and saw both teams battle back from large deficits.
I would say this is probably the greatest game Ive ever played in, said Meadows, who had 24 points and 12 rebounds. Both teams fought so hard and it went back and forth. The crowd was great and getting into it. It was an unbelievable game.
The Hawks (18-5) advance to Tuesdays Region I final, at East Fairmont. They will play Wheeling Park, which beat Brooke, 70-52, on Friday. The winner advances to the state tournament, in Charleston. MHS finished 17-6.
It was also a game that will have fans, coaches and players talking about free throws for quite some time.
The Hawks shot just 41 percent from the line, including 7-of-21 in the overtime. For the game, UHS was 18-of-44.
I thought we would be able to make our free throws down the stretch, UHS coach Bruce Clinton said. Weve lost a few games this year by not being able to close it out down the stretch. Im sure fatigue played a factor. A lot of those shots were on line, but just came up short.
I dont know what was up with those free throws, added Gyorko, who scored 17 points but was just 3-for-8 from the line. The big thing now is not to worry about it and move on and practice more. I know Im going to be shooting a lot of extra free throws in practice this week. However many it takes.
The Mohigans shot just 20 free throws for the game.
There was a little disparity and it made a difference, Yester said.
The real story, though, came in three 3-pointers one by Morgantown Highs Jamie Karraker and two from Gyorko.
MHS held a 43-36 lead with 6:14 remaining in the fourth quarter, but could do nothing to keep the Hawks from chipping away at it. With 53 seconds left, Gyorko connected on a deep 3 to give UHS a 51-49 lead.
I hadnt been shooting well up to that point, Gyorko said. I just knew we were down and we needed something to happen, so I took the shot.
Gyorko later made a foul shot to give UHS a 52-49 lead, which is what set up Karrakers moment.
Coming out of a timeout, Karraker nailed a 25-footer while leaning back with three seconds left to send the game into overtime.
The play was originally for Jeff [Lindsay], Yester said. We ran a high screen and thank goodness Jamie rolled high off of it. It was a great shot.
Gyorko answered in the overtime after picking up an offensive rebound from a missed free throw. His fourth and final 3-pointer of the night gave UHS a 57-52 lead.
The Hawks stretched it to 64-54 with 1:36 to play, but from there UHS went just 4-of-11 from the foul line, while Lindsay hit two big 3-pointers. His second cut the UHS lead to 69-68 with six seconds remaining. After Jefferson, who finished with 20 points and eight rebounds, made one free throw, Lindsay brought the ball down the floor for one last 3-point attempt that fell short at the buzzer.
Lindsay finished with a gamehigh 29 points in the final game of his prep career.
Another second left and we had the tip-in, Yester said. It was a great game all around by both teams. Im sorry to see it end like this for us, but University High will go on and represent this section well.
Todd Flint/The Dominion Post UHSs Ryan Michael looks for a way around Morgantowns J.T. Lewis.
Region I, Section 2 MORGANTOWN (17-6) Karraker 2 0-0 6, Lewis 3 0-1 6, Law 3 0-0 6, Lindsay 10 7-7 29, Ramsey 2 2-3 6, Hatfield 2 2-3 7, Pearson 0 4-4 4, Fletcher 0 0-0 0, Rembert 0 0-0 0, Taylor 2 0-2 4. Totals 24 15-20 68. UNIVERSITY (18-5) Gyorko 5 3-8 17, Romain 0 0-0 0, Nehlen 1 3-8 5, Hewitt 0 0-0 0, Messenger 0 0-0 0, Jefferson 6 8-16 20, Michael 2 0-4 4, Meadows 10 4-8 24. Totals 24 18-44 70. Morgantown 16 10 13 13 16 68 University 12 17 7 16 18 70 3-pointersMorgantown 5 (Karraker 2, Lindsay 2, Hatfield 1), University 4 (Gyorko 4). ReboundsMorgantown 44 (Law 12), University 50 (Meadows 12). Fouled outHatfield, Lewis.