Going out in style
MHS’s Lewis to play in North-South

BY DYLAN JONES The Dominion Post
When J.T. Lewis steps on the court tonight, he’ll have to play solid basketball to represent Morgantown High in the North-South All-Star Classic at the South Charleston Community Center.
    Lewis, a senior point guard, is the only Mohigan playing in the annual game.
    For Lewis, this game will be the culmination of his high school career.
    “I’m sad to leave [MHS],” he said. “It was a wild season, but I have no regrets.
    “It felt wonderful to be selected [to the North-South game],” he said. “It really is an honor. It’s like a trophy for me.”
    He’s no stranger to the court. Lewis has been playing organized basketball since first grade. He played for Suncrest Middle and then hit his stride at MHS.
    “Basketball has made me who I am today,” he said. “It’s made me a better overall person and showed me how to deal with people.”
    MHS coach Tom Yester said Lewis was a valuable asset to the team this year.
    “He really enjoys playing,” Yester said. “He goes out there and absolutely loves it. It makes the guys around him play better as well.”
    Yester said when Lewis learned his role, the pieces fell into place.
    “The best kind of discipline is self discipline,” Yester said.
    “When he knew his place, he worked hard at his job and didn’t try to be a superstar. He was our finisher.”
    According to Yester, Lewis’s size sets him apart from other players.
    “For a 6-5 guy, he’s quick,” Yester said. “He’s big enough to rebound with the big guys and small enough to run down the court with the little guys.”
    Yester said Lewis also has solid ball-handling skills, but they both agree he needs to work on his shooting.
    “I need to score points in this game,” Lewis said. “I need to take more shots and work on my jumper.”
    Yester said for Lewis to make it in college basketball, he has to put solid effort into his jump shot.
    “He’s aggressive and has a good build,” Yester said.
    “If he can produce points with his jump shot, then he’ll be a good asset to a team in the college realm.”
    Although Lewis hasn’t officially signed yet, he said he is set on attending Garrett College in Maryland. He is undecided on a major but plans to put time into his academics.
    “Even though I plan to play ball and do well, academics always come first,” Lewis said.
    Lewis said the next step would be to transfer to a bigger school and work on his strength and conditioning.
    But for now, Lewis is focusing on representing MHS in his final high school game.
    “I’m pumped up, and I’m nervous,” he said.
    “At the same time, I’m prepared to go out there and play. I thrive under pressure and play to the level of the athletes around me.”

June 23, 2007
North-South basketball
At S.C. Community Center
North 101, South 91
North — Tom Izzo (Bridgeport) 3-10 1-2 7, J.T. Lewis (Morgantown) 1-5 3-5 5, Jordan Lawson (Pendleton) 8-13 0-0 18, Will Richardson (Parkersburg South) 9-15 1-3 19, Ken Barrows (Bishop Donahue) 1-5 0-0 2, Jon Webster (Petersburg) 0-2 0-0 0, Chie Bryan (Wheeling Park) 3-6 3-3 9, Michael Lopez (Hedgesville) 3-7 2-2 11, Drew Stevens (Grafton) 0-4 0-0 0, Eli Cottrill (Lincoln) 7-14 0-0 16, Timmy White (Gilmer) 5-10 0-2 10, Derek Sevier (East Fairmont) 2-4 0-0 4, Aaron Kestner (John Marshall) 0-4 0-2 0, totals 42-99 10-19 101
South — Jamaal Williams (Huntington) 5-12 2-3 14, Dexter Moore (Bluefield) 4-11 1-5 9, Bo King (Charleston Catholic) 5-12 1-2 11, Justin Caldwell (Wyoming East) 3-8 0-0 6, Stephan Ball (Chapmanville) 6-8 2-2 14, Jevon Carpenter (Princeton) 2-4 0-0 4, Jamel Shelton (Mount Hope) 1-7 0-0 3, Zach Goad (Cabell Midland) 3-8 0-0 7, Michael Taylor (Huntington) 6-17 7-7 19, Josh Stricker (Herbert Hoover) 1-5 0-0 2, B.J. Evans (Tolsia) 1-6 0-0 2, totals 37-98 13-19 91
Halftime: North 55-45; 3-point goals: North 7-20 (Izzo 0-2, Lawson 2-3, Webster 0-1, Bryan 0-1, Lopez 3-7, Cottrill 2-6), South 4-27 (Williams 2-4, Moore 0-2, King 0-4, Caldwell 0-3, Carpenter 0-1, Shelton 1-2, Goad 1-3, Taylor 0-5, Stricker 0-2, Evans 0-1); Rebounds: North 74 (Cottrill 12, Richardson 11), South 52 (Moore 9, Ball 7); Turnovers: North 35, South 20
Game MVPs — North: Will Richardson; South: Michael Taylor
Skills competitions
Free-throw shooting
Finals: Richardson d. Bryan 12-7
First round — North: Richardson 10, Bryan 9, Lewis 6; South: Stricker 9, Ball 7, Evans 5 (Bryan d. Stricker 8-5 in shootoff to reach finals)
3-point shootout
Finals: Lopez 7, Caldwell 6, Izzo 5
First round — South: Caldwell 4, King 4, Goad 3; North: Izzo 6, Lopez 4, Lawson 3 (Lopez and Caldwell, with 6 each, d. King 3 to reach finals)
(Maximum two dunks in 35 seconds)
1. Richardson 53 points; 2. White 46; 3. Barrows 44; 4. Kestner 40; 5. Sevier 25