MHS not Dunn yet
Senior returns as Mohigans win

BY ERIC HANLON The Dominion Post
As if the University High School boys’ basketball team hasn’t had enough problems against its crosstown foe this year, the Mohigans threw out another challenge in the schools’ third, and final, meeting Friday night in sectionals.
Morgantown (20-3) beat the Hawks (9-13) for the third time this year by a score of nearly 30, winning 81-53 this time.
Entering the game, the Hawks had already been struggling this year and were without one of their best players, senior Cole Messenger, for the game.
At the same time, the Mohigans got a pleasant surprise, as senior Taylor Dunn, who missed the entire regular season with a knee injury, came back to play in his first game.
“It’s hard to beat anyone three times, especially twice at their place,” MHS head coach Tom Yester said. “But they were down one player and we were up one player, and that changes some things.”
Although Dunn played limited minutes, the electrifying senior still recorded 10 points while getting three steals, two rebounds and two assists.
“It feels good to be back with my team,” Dunn said. “We’re really gelling right now. I love playing with these guys.”
Even without dressing for one game all year, Dunn was still a leader on the team, and now that he’s back, the Mohigans should be even more dangerous. In fact, the Mohigans may have just gotten back the final piece to what could be their championship puzzle.
After the game, it was obvious that Dunn’s teammates were happy to have him back.
“He helped us a lot tonight,” MHS senior Ben Hewitt said. “He’s exciting and has a lot of nice moves. He has confidence, he doesn’t make any turnovers, and he can score at any time. It’s good to have him back.”
However, even without Dunn’s play, the Mohigans probably would have won this game, as they were all over the Hawks early and often.
The Mohigans started the game out with a 12-2 run and never surrendered the lead throughout.
Even when the Hawks started to climb back in it, the Mohigans slammed the door quickly.
At the end of the first half, the Hawks connected on three consecutive field goals and for a moment, it looked as if the momentum might swing. But on the ensuing Hawks’ possession, Dunn made an appearance.
As UHS moved the ball down the court, Dunn swept in and stole the ball, then dished a behind-the-back pass to fellow senior Jay Fletcher, who went up for a one-handed slam dunk as time expired in the second quarter. Afterward, neither coach seemed all too surprised about the game’s outcome.
“They’ve beaten us three times by basically the same score, so I guess that just shows how much better they are,” UHS head coach Bruce Clinton said. “I’m still proud of my guys though. They fought hard to the end, and that’s all you can ask for from a ballplayer.”
In the game, the Mohigans had four different players score in the double digits. Along with Dunn, Hewitt scored 14, Carey 14, and senior Zach Cooke added 13.
Up next, the Mohigans will face John Marshall on Tuesday in the regional finals with a trip to the state tournament on the line.

Taylor Dunn