Mohigans survive for 11th straight win
Morgantown holds off pesky North Marion

BY ERIC HANLON The Dominion Post
The last time the Morgantown High School boys’ basketball team played North Marion, it was ugly.
The Mohigans (13-2) routed the Huskies (3-11) by a score of 82-31 in the first meeting. This time around, the general consensus by most heading into Friday night’s matchup was that it would be a similar outcome.
It turned out that those people couldn’t have been more wrong. The Mohigans did end up winning the game, 60-53, to extend their win streak to 11 games, but the score doesn’t tell the true tale.
The Mohigans actually trailed for practically the entire game and if not for a strong fourth quarter, those in attendance may have been there to witness a significant upset.
Fortunately there were a few Mohigans who were on top of their game. Senior Jay Fletcher was one of the leaders for MHS, scoring 12 points and pulling down seven rebounds.
“We started off real bad,” Fletcher said. “We weren’t focused from the time were being introduced. Everybody thought it would be easy and didn’t really give this game a lot of thought.”
Trailing at halftime, the Mohigans had some mixed feelings about what was going on and if they would be able to come back.
“Things weren’t going right and when that happens, you started doubting yourself,” MHS head coach Tom Yester said. “We need to make some improvements and do it in a hurry.”
MHS senior Lunden Ryan was another one of the bright spots for the Mohigans, as he had a great second half. In the game, he scored six points, snagged five rebounds and made multiple defensive plays that directly affected the games’ outcome.
“[Yester] got on us pretty good at halftime,” Ryan said. “When we were down, we were getting a little worried and really didn’t pick it up until the fourth quarter. We’re not happy with the win but we’ll take it.”
A big part of that success this time for the Huskies, throughout the game, was the play of senior Sam Smith, who had a double-double, scoring 21 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. If not for his play, the Mohigans probably would have ended this one much earlier.
“We moved the ball around well and at halftime, we felt like we could take the game,” Smith said. “But at the end, we threw the ball away a couple of times and they pulled away.”
Despite being beaten by 50 in their last meeting, the Huskies entered the game with an air of confidence.
“We thought it would be a lot closer this time around,” NMHS head coach Chris Freeman said. “We knew if we executed well and took our time, we would have a chance. You never know, a rebound here and there and it could have been a different story.”
Regardless of how close the Huskies got, Freeman didn’t appear too upset, as he knew the caliber of the team he was playing against. “We understand they are a great team,” Freeman said. “They’re not ranked as high as they are in the state for no reason.”
On the other hand, even in victory Yester was very disappointed with his team’s performance.
“They had nothing to lose and we came out with no intensity,” Yester said. “We played like they would lie down because of what happened last time. We weren’t our normal aggressive, confident selves and we really need to make sure to come every game to play.”
Other leading scores for the Mohigans were seniors Ben Hewitt with 18 points and Craig Carey with nine.
The Mohigans will be in action again tomorrow when they will travel to face the eighth-ranked team in the state, Wheeling Park.

Todd Flint/The Dominion Post Morgantown’s Ben Hewitt goes to the basket against several North Marion defenders during Friday’s game at Morgantown High School.