Yester looks to rebuild Mohigans

BY ERIC HERTER The Dominion Post With just three players back from last year’s team that went 17-6 and lost in the sectionals to University, Morgantown High boys’ basketball coach Tom Yester might have had to use name tags to remember all the new faces to this year’s Mohigan basketball team.
Cam Taylor, Elliott Law and J.T. Lewis are the only three returning players to the varsity team but that doesn’t mean Yester isn’t encouraged by what he has seen from his relatively inexperienced team.
“I’m interested to see how we’ll play,” Yester, who is entering his 25th seasons with the Mohigans, said. “I know we are sick of scrimmaging ourselves and we are ready to get after someone else. I think we can run a little bit and I think we have some players who can shoot the the ball. The big question will be how we blend together as a team and our depth at the post position.”
Besides Taylor, at 6-foot-8, the Mohigans lack a true post player as both Lewis (6-5) and Law (6-3) are more slasher-type players who want to get to the basket instead of play with their back to it. Taylor will start at the center spot and Yester said he is counting on the big man to step up and average in double figures in scoring this season. Lewis will play at the power forward spot and Law will play at the small forward.
The backcourt and bench is where the Mohigans are going to be plenty young. Lunden Ryan and senior Derek Long, back out for basketball after a one-year hiatus, are competing for the starting point guard duties while Taylor Dunn, Craig Carey and Tyrell Rembert are all looking for time at the shooting guard spot. Yester said the Mohigans will have to find a scorer as the season moves along. Lewis and Law are the top returning scorers and each of them averaged just over five points per game last season.
“All of our shooting guards seem to have to ability to score, so I’m not really worried about that,” Yester said. “Zach Cooke (junior guard) might be the best shooter on the team. He can flat-out drill it from behind the three-point line. I’m excited to see what he can do in a game.”
But the schedule maker wasn’t kind to this young MHS squad as it opens with five straight games away from home, all against tough competition, and seven of its first eight are on the road.
“I like this team,” Yester said. “I think we are going to be better as the season goes on but we have got a real murderous schedule to start out. We’ll be tested early on as we get going but I think we’ll be better for it in the long run.”
The Mohigans start their season on Tuesday when they travel to Preston.
“I don’t see anyone in our conference that we can’t compete with,” Yester said. “University is obviously the favorite but I think we are going to be close with some of these teams and I would like to think we can be in the mix.”

Todd Flint/The Dominion Post file photo Morgantown’s J.T. Lewis (21) goes to the basket against Preston last season. Lewis is one of three returning player for the Mohigans this season.