MHS’s Carey named NCAC Player of Year

Joined on first team by Fletcher, Hewitt, Myers and Thompson

BY ERIC HANLON The Dominion Post

After finishing with a record of 14-0 in the conference and losing in the Class AAA state semifinals, it’s no wonder that the Morgantown boys’ basketball team cleaned up when the NCAC conference awards were announced.
Morgantown, the conference champions, led all other schools, as head coach Tom Yester won Coach of the Year and senior Craig Carey won Player of the Year.
Not to mention, the Mohigans also had two other players, seniors Jay Fletcher and Ben Hewitt, both named first team all-conference.
“We had a very talented team that had the capabilities of having everyone score in double digits,” Yester said. “I have to take my hat off to them, the way they competed this year.”
But it wasn’t always easy for the Mohigans, who started out the year 2-2 before winning 21 of their next 22 games.
“We played a pretty tough schedule to start the season, but once we got into the conference, we started playing better and were tough,” Carey said. “Once we started playing better, we were able to start putting a few wins together.” Carey’s performance in particular made a difference for the Mohigans.
“The thing with Craig is that he has a competitive drive,” Yester said. “He’s ready to play any time, anywhere and steps up to the competition.”
Carey, however, appeared to think that much of his success was due to the players around him.
“I was surprised I won [player of the year],” Carey said. “I think we have a lot of good players and we play together.”
Carey’s play from this year was quite an improvement on what was an already impressive resume that he had put together over the last few years.
“He cut his turnovers and he improved his number of assists this year,” Yester said. “Plus, he leads the team in steals. He has developed the capability to go by someone and then after he’s by them, he can finish.”
Hewitt and Fletcher were similar to Carey in that they were the consummate team players, but differed as they provided the Mohigans with a dominant physical presence.
Hewitt was the Mohigans leading scorer, rebounder and shot blocker on the season, while averaging 13.8 points per game in his first year with the team.
“I only had him for one year and he performed very well,” Yester said. “My hat is off to him for the work that he did and the attitude he brought.”
Fletcher played similarly to Hewitt and was second in the team in blocked shots and rebounds behind Hewitt and third on the team in assists.
“He shoots in the high forties from the floor and in the low eighties from the foul line. What else can you ask for?” Yester said. “He is the most fun kind of player to coach. He basically had the attitude of ‘tell me what you want and I’ll do it.’”
University High School had two players of its own on the all-conference team as seniors Chris Payton and Chad Shade were both named to the second team.
“They had a decent season for us,” UHS head coach Bruce Clinton said. “Chris started out slow but was probably one of our best players at the end of the season and Chad flat out hustled. He gave me what I needed from him.”
Preston High School also placed all three of its guards onto the all-conference team, as senior Major Myers and sophomore T.J. Thompson were first team, while senior Steven Groves was named to the second team.
“This team is all about our three gaurds,” PHS head coach Barry Sanders said. “The offense revolves around those three and they are some of the best in the state without a doubt.”

Bob Gay/The Dominion Post file photo
Morgantown High School’s Craig Carey averaged nearly 13 points per game on his way to earning NCAC Player of the Year.