Rivals meet again in sectional

BY ERIC HERTER The Dominion Post
Introductions will not be necessary tonight when Morgantown and University meet in the Class AAA Region I, Section 2 boys’ basketball championship.
These two teams already know each other quite well.
“This is what you prepare for,” MHS head coach Tom Yester said. “Hopefully your season and your schedule has prepared you for this point.”
The Hawks have won two meetings earlier this season, the first one in overtime and the second game rather easily.
However since then these two teams have almost gone in opposite directions.
Morgantown has been one of the hottest teams in the area after a rough start, while UHS lost four of its last five games with several players missing due to injuries.
“All I know is that University is a pretty good team,” Yester said. “[Ben] Hewitt, [Ryan] Nehlen and [Jedd] Gyorko made us look pretty bad in that second game. We looked like a bad middle school team in that second game and hopefully we have learned what we have to do to be competitive against them.”
UHS coach Bruce Clinton certainly believes this game will be competitive.
“After that second game and the way we were playing, I thought we might have won the sectional but now we are pretty beat up and it’s going to be a nailbiter,” Clinton said. “Morgantown is really playing well and ever since they inserted [Anthony] Schifano into the lineup it really has helped them.”
Schifano is a big man who can step outside and shoot the 3-pointer. His ability has caused several teams some match-up problems.
“Hopefully Schifano is still hot,” Yester said. “He’s been very hot lately and we’ve kind of relied on him.”
Meanwhile the Hawks will rely on one of their superstars.
Gyorko will be playing in his final MHS-UHS rivalry game and Yester admits he won’t be sad to see the standout leave.
“He’s been around for what seems like forever,” Yester said. “Him and Nehlen and Hewitt do such a nice job in transition and getting to the basket. They are like gazelles going to the basket and we have to try and make them a little more one-dimensional.”
Clinton said he realizes the Mohigans are going to try and take something away from his team.
“If they try to take the drive away from us, I think we are good enough shooters from the outside that we can shoot it,” Clinton said. “We are still going to try and go to the basket.” Of course who the Hawks send to the basket is a different story.
UHS has been without the services of several key players during the last five games including center Grant Meadows. Clinton said Meadows is still a game-time decision for tonight’s game.
Yester said he is preparing for every one of the UHS players to participate in tonight’s 7:30 p.m. contest.
“Morgantown seems to bring the best out of Grant,” Clinton said. “If I had to predict, I think we’ll get some minutes out of him. But I don’t know how much he’ll play.”

Jason DeProspero/The Dominion Post file photo
Centers Grant Meadows (55) and Cameron Taylor (51) will play key roles in tonight’s sectional game between University and Morgantown.