Park hangs on vs. Mohigans 2/9/09
Good defensive effort goes for naught in loss

For every run the Morgantown High boys’ basketball team made, Wheeling Park came up with something better.
The Mohigans didn’t suffer any major breakdowns; instead, just constant, minor setbacks, which allowed the No. 6 Patriots to hold on for a 55-48 victory Tuesday night, at the MHS gymnasium.
“I think we let that one slip away,” said MHS guard Arius Jackson, who scored seven points. “Honestly, I think they sped us up and got us out of our comfort zone. We would speed up, and I fell down a couple times, and we were just trying to go too fast, playing a different speed than normal.”
Wheeling Park (12-4) reeled off a second-quarter run to take a sevenpoint lead, forcing the Mohigans to play catch-up the rest of the game. It was a hump MHS could never quite overcome, every run ending when the Mohigans were one, two or three points from the lead.
“It was the simple things we did wrong, like turnovers by not throwing a pass hard,” said MHS’s Tyler Anderson, who scored a team-high 13 points. “I think it was on us. If we don’t make a strong pass or a strong move to the hole, it’s a turnover, and that’s one more shot we don’t get to put up.”
The Mohigans (9-5, 8-1 NCAC) drew to 37-36, but in the fourth quarter, WP appeared to put the game out of reach, 42-35. The Mohigans closed to 44-42, with 3:40 remaining. They wouldn’t get any closer.
“Every time we had a run, they had an answer,” Jackson said.
Each time MHS made a game of it, D’Jhae Jackson provided an answer for Wheeling Park. Morgantown couldn’t contain the quick guard from driving and finishing at the rim. Jackson scored 13 second-half points, and he and fellow guard Kelvin Goodwin finished with 16 apiece.
“The defense was probably good enough to win, but the offense wasn’t,” MHS coach Tom Yester said. “When they turn it on, our guys aren’t used to trying to get to the rim and stop it. They think they can step out, but you can’t because they can drive by.”
On the other side, the Mohigans, who made 20 of 36 shots inside the arc but just 2 of 9 from 3-point range, missed several uncharacteristic shots in the paint.
“We had more size and missed a lot of bunnies [easy shots],” Yester said. “We usually have a couple pretty good shooters — [Ryan] Parsons and those guys couldn’t knock them down. We hung around; we made a go of it. We’ve just got to take this and learn.”
After all, these two teams could meet in the postseason tournament. MHS returns to action at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, at University.
The MHS JV team (12-0) defeated Wheeling Park, 55-29. Ben Blemings led the Mohigans with nine points, while Carlton Drake and Michael Keffer each added eight.
Black 1 0-0 2, Griffin 0 6-6 6, Jackson 7 2-2 16, Goodwin 5 3-4 16, O’Neal 2 0-2 4, Vargo 1 0-0 3, Hall 3 2-2 8, Simpson 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 13-16 55.
Runner 3 0-0 6, Anderson 6 0-2 13, Parsons 0 0-0 0, Wilson 0 1-1 1, Jackson 3 1-1 7, Caridi 3 0-0 6, Simmons 3 0-0 6, Colombo 2 0-0 4, Price 0 0-0 0, Meador 2 0-0 5. Totals 22 2-4 48. Wheeling Park 10 15 13 17 — 55 Morgantown 10 12 13 13 — 48
3-point goals: Wheeling Park 4 (Goodwin 3, Vargo), Morgantown 2 (Anderson, Meador).

Jason DeProspero/The Dominion Post MHS’s Michael Caridi jams home a dunk to finish off an MHS fast break Tuesday.