Mohigans hang on
Wilson (22) helps chase off upset bid

BY ERIC HANLON The Dominion Post
The last time the University and Morgantown boys’ basketball teams met, the Mohigans took a 30-point lead into halftime and then cruised to victory.
This time around was different, as the Hawks nearly pulled off a stunning upset, only to fall, 57-47, at home.
“It was ugly, but we’ll take it,” MHS head coach Tom Yester said.
Trailing by 13 points in the third quarter, the Hawks pulled to one of the Mohigans in the fourth, before allowing the game to slip away from them.
“You can’t ask for more than what they did tonight,” UHS head coach Bruce Clinton said. “I’m very proud of this group.”
Fortunately for the Mohigans, senior Chase Wilson had a career night, scoring a game-high 22 points. Wilson also added seven rebounds and five steals.
Though it was obviously a big matchup against the Mohigans’ arch-rivals, Wilson — who came in averaging just 6.1 points per game — came in thinking, business as usual.
“Before the game, I felt good, but I never go into a game thinking I’m going to do this or this,” Wilson said. “I try to just let things happen. But, I did feel good before the game.”
Making Wilson’s performance all that more impressive is that he stepped up in the second half, scoring 16 points, once UHS took away the Mohigans’ two top scorers, senior Tyler Anderson and junior Sam Runner.
“Give them credit, University High played great and gave us all that we could handle,” Yester said. “Our two big guys didn’t score a single second-half bucket. Thank God, Wilson was hot tonight.”
Fueling the Hawks’ comeback was the excellent play of junior Demetreas Cunningham, who scored a team-high 21 points while also pulling down six rebounds.
“Cunningham is quick,” Yester said. “He bothers a lot of people.”
And because of Cunningham’s quickness, the Hawks forced MHS to make mistake after mistake.
“We had 20 turnovers tonight,” Yester said. “That’s the worst thing.”
With the Hawks all over the Mohigans’ ballhandlers, MHS was forced into some quick shots, allowing UHS to get in place to pick up enough late rebounds to get back into the game.
“We did well when we got rebounds,” Clinton said. “Most of our baskets came off of rebounds or in transition. We didn’t do much scoring from our half-court offense.”
Unfortunately for the Hawks, when they were forced to run their half-court offense, they were unable to generate much production and began to turn the ball over themselves. After pulling to one, the Hawks failed to make a field goal in the final four minutes.
“They hung in there and we were feeling good when we were down by only one,” Clinton said. “But, we had too many turnovers and [Morgantown] is too good to give extra opportunities.”
Given extra opportunities themselves, the Mohigans made the best of them. With the Hawks having to foul, MHS buried 10 of 11 foul shots in the fourth quarter to pull away. Wilson was 6-for-6 in the period.
“I was pretty calm once it got close,” Wilson said. “I don’t get too excited in those situations because the game can still go either way. I just tried to keep everyone calm and down the stretch we stayed focused and made our free throws.”
Though not thrilled with his team’s play, Yester was happy to get a win against MHS’s rival, at UHS’s new gym.
“This was our first time in this building, so I’m glad we got a win,” Yester said. “The first time they were in our building, they beat us, so I guess this make things a little more even.”
Runner 4 0-1 10, Jackson 0 0-0 0, Parsons 1 0-0 3, Anderson 0 4-4 4, Wilson 7 6-6 22, Simmons 3 0-1 7, Barnett 1 0-0 2, Meador 2 0-0 6, Caridi 1 1-2 3, Price 0 0-0 0, Colombo 0 0-2 0. Totals 19 13-18 57.
Hostetler 2 1-2 5, Golden 4 3-3 12, Harvey 0 2-4 2, Neville 1 2-5 5, Marcucci 1 0-0 2, Henn 0 0-0 0, Cunningham 6 8-12 21, Stanley 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 16-26 47.
Morgantown 18 12 13 14 — 57 University 14 10 10 13 — 47
3-point goals: Morgantown 6 (Wilson 2, Meador 2, Simmons, Parsons), University 3 (Golden, Neville, Cunningham).

Ron Rittenhouse/The Dominion Post MHS’s Arius Jackson (center) tries for a steal from UHS’s Josh Neville (right) with Dylan Harvey looking for a pass in first-half action Thursday.