Mohigans catch fire from the perimeter
MHS knocks down nine 3s to beat RCB
BY ERIC HANLON The Dominion Post

CHARLESTON — Entering this week, four local teams made the journey south for the boys’ state high school basketball tournament in the Charleston Civic Center.
Prior to Morgantown’s game against Robert C. Byrd (22-3), all three area teams (Trinity, Preston and Grafton) were eliminated from the tournament in the first round.
Morgantown (22-3) changed all that on Thursday afternoon, as the Mohigans pounded RCB, 76-42, in the Class AAA quarterfinals.
The Mohigans were impressive and put on a nearly flawless performance.
“I thought they were outstanding,” RCB head coach Bill Bennett said.”If they shoot like that the rest of the week, they have a great shot at winning this whole thing. Heck, they could beat the Lakers if they shoot like that.”
The Mohigans came out and shot 54 percent from the floor in the first half, while making six 3-pointers and building a 20-point lead in the second quarter.
“We needed to come out fast because we have a tendency to start a little slow,” MHS head coach Tom Yester said. “I told them that here, you have to come out and establish yourself, and I guess they heard me.”
With the Mohigans up so early, there wasn’t much left to do down the stretch but hold on to the lead, which wasn’t difficult for MHS. The Flying Eagles were unable to put together consecutive baskets until late in the third quarter.
But even with a large lead, there was still no give in the Mohigans.
“We never put it into cruise control,” Yester said. “We just continued on with our game plan.”
MHS hit nine 3-pointers on the day and shot just over 47 percent from behind the arch.
Leading the Mohigans in that department was senior Anthony Schifano, who hit five 3-pointers in the game and produced a game-high 17 points.
Fellow seniors Zach Cooke (nine points) and Craig Carey (16 points) each added two 3-pointers for the Mohigans.
When asked how Schifano can get so hot from behind the line sometimes, Yester instantly perked up.
“Sometimes? Try all the time,” Yester said. “He and Cooke can really shoot the ball. Between the two of them, they were seven of nine from 3-point range today and that’s pretty good.
“Craig [Carey] can shoot the ball too, and a few other of our guys can, but those three are our most reliable shooters and make us very difficult.”
That point was not lost by Bennett, whose team was left with the difficult task of finding a way to guard those players.
“We just couldn’t stop them. You would expect someone to miss sometime,” Bennett said. “We would get out to their shooters, and they would penetrate to the rim. They all like to penetrate, and they can all shoot.”
Bennett continued to praise the Mohigans’ offensive skills.
“They are really athletic and don’t play with many flaws,” Bennett said. “I knew their game strategy was very similar to what Duke runs.I just didn’t expect them to play like Duke too.”
The Mohigans will now face No. 1-seed South Charleston (23-1) at 5:30 p.m. in the semifinals.
“They’re fast and we need to contain them,” Carey said of South Charleston. “We can’t let them in the paint; they’re a lot like us.We’ll need some good defensive pressure against them to get things going.”
The Black Eagles enter today’s game having won their last 21 games. The Mohigans have won 20 of their last 21 games.
“Morgantown makes every shot they take, and South Charleston has some real athletes,” Bennett said. “That’s going to be a good game. I don’t want to miss that one.”