Terrific night for Tom
MHS’s Yester gets win No. 500
BY ERIC HANLON The Dominion Post

Morgantown High School’s Tom Yester has been a head basketball coach for 38 years now, and has led the Mohigans to the regional finals six of the last eight years.
    Wednesday night, Yester reached another milestone by getting his 500th career victory when MHS (1-0) defeated Preston (0-1), 65-51, in Morgantown.
    “Some people might say it took me too long to get it,” Yester said. “I’m really happy for all the kids that have played for me over the years and for all of the coaches that have worked [with me] over the years.”
After the victory, the MHS players were excited for their coach.
    “You got the big 500,” MHS junior Tyler Anderson said to his coach. “That’s a lot of games.”
    To add to the night’s excitement, the victory over the Knights was a convincing one over a team that is supposed to be competitive this season.
    As a matter of fact, last year Preston shared the North Central Athletic Conference title with the Mohigans and University, and the Knights return many players from that team.
    “It’s a good way to start the year,” Yester said. “We were adequate on offense, although some of our shooters weren’t as sharp as I wanted them to be.
    “We also played respectable on defense. We gave up 51 [points], and I can live with 51. I also think we fouled too much, so I guess in some respects, you can say we looked like it was our first game, but in some respects we looked like it wasn’t.”
    One player who looked as though it wasn’t his first game of the season was Anderson, who was one of the big reasons Yester picked up his historic 500th victory. Part of that may have to do with the great physical shape that he is in from playing on the MHS football team.
“We need to work on our conditioning,” Anderson said. “Running while wearing pads is a lot harder than running in nothing, so that might have helped me.”
Anderson led the Mohigans with 14 points and six rebounds.
“Tyler was terrific tonight,” Yester said. “He was a real spark for us, and a big physical presence for us.”
Perhaps most impressive is that Anderson excelled without even starting. In fact, Anderson really only played the majority of the second and third quarters for the Mohigans.
    “I don’t look at Tyler as a non-starter,” Yester said. “We have different people for different situations. If we need a post guy, we bring in a post guy. If we need someone to go inside ,we put in someone to go inside. It varies depending on what we need at the time.”
    After waiting all summer long to play, the Mohigans dove right into their season and won’t have much of a break, traveling to Charleston Friday for a rematch against Capital. In March, MHS upset Capital, 43-37, to reach the Class AAA state semifinals.
    “We need to improve on everything,” Yester said. “We’re going to have to adjust for Capital tomorrow because it is going to be a completely different kind of game. Preston likes to take their time and Capital is right in your face and doesn’t back down. It will be a physical game.”
Todd Flintn/The Dominion Post Morgantown boys’ basketball coach Tom Yester, center, encourages his team during Wednesday’s game against Preston. The Mohigans won, 65-51, and Yester picked up his 500th victory.