Mohigans maul UHS
Coast on 30-point halftime advantage
BY ERIC HANLON The Dominion Post
After losing its past two games, the Morgantown High boys’ basketball team took out all of its frustration in the first half Thursday night against its crosstown rival, University.
The Mohigans jumped to a huge 39-9 lead by halftime and then held on for a 71-48 victory, at their home gym.
Despite losing, it was the Hawks’ attempt at a late comeback that became a focal point after the game.
“At the start of the second half, we looked up and saw the score and figured we’d let them back in it to make it a game,” MHS head coach Tom Yester said, sarcastically. “So, we started making turnovers and mistakes and gave them a chance.”
With little hope of winning, UHS head coach Bruce Clinton explained his thoughts at the half.
“Most games, when you’re down 30 at halftime, you just want to have two good quarters to end the game,” UHS head coach Bruce Clinton said. “There’s not really much else you can say.”
The Hawks did just that.
At the start of the third, after making only two field goals in the first half, UHS started firing on all cylinders and narrowed the 30-point gap to 13, with six minutes remaining in the game.
“We got it down to 13, but when you start out being down that far, it takes a miracle to come back,” Clinton said. “We just dug ourselves too deep a hole.”
With the Hawks charging back, the Mohigans were left looking for a way to pull themselves back together with about five minutes to play.
“We called a timeout and said we needed to calm down and stop turning the ball over,” MHS senior Tyler Anderson said. “From then on we did, and we started hitting some great shots.”
At that point, the comeback attempt was all but over.
“We wanted to put the pedal to the metal. After the half, you can get better or get worse. We got worse,” Yester said. “We are our own worst enemy. That wasn’t a very good half. We’ve got to be more disciplined and we’re fortunate that we eventually made a few shots and pulled it together.”
Fueling the Hawks’ comeback was the play of seniors Dylan Harvey and Tyler Hostetler, who totaled 20 points in the third and fourth quarters.
“Morgantown is always a rivalry game and, obviously, we didn’t play the first half the way we wanted to,” Harvey said. “In the locker room, we felt that we weren’t trying to come back out and play like we did early. You can’t hang your head or else they’d score another 30.”
Leading the way for the Mohigans were Anderson, with 12 points and eight rebounds, and Sam Runner, a 6-foot-7 junior, who had a game-high 15 points, six rebounds and seven blocks.
Also making big contributions in the win were senior Cody Petitte, with 11 points, and Michael Caridi and Ryan Parsons, who each had seven rebounds.
Another key aspect of the victory was the Mohigans’ ability to connect from distance as they finished 6-of-8 from 3-point range. In their most recent loss, to Martinsburg, MHS was only 1-of-14.
The Hawks will return to action Monday, at home, versus Buckhannon-Upshur.
MHS will play back-to-back games against Preston, on Saturday (at PHS), and Tuesday (at home), with first place in the NCAC on the line.
The MHS JV team defeated UHS, 71-43. Leading scorers for the Mohigans were Luke Meador (21 points) and Michael Keffer (14). Wesley Payne netted 10 points for the Hawks.
Hostetler 3 7-10 13, Simpson 0 1-2 1, Golden 3 0-2 8, Harvey 3 1-2 7, Cunningham 1 6-10 8, Neville 2 0-0 4, Henn 0 0-0 0, Marcucci 1 0-0 3, Tucker 1 1-2 4, Stanley 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 14-24 48.
Anderson 4 3-5 12, Runner 6 3-5 15, Parsons 2 0-0 6, Jackson 0 0-0 0, Barnett 2 2-2 6, Wilson 1 1-2 4, Petitte 3 4-6 11, Caridi 4 1-4 9, Simmons 1 0-0 3, Price 1 0-0 2, Colombo 1 1-2 3, Berryhill 0 0-0 0. Totals 25 15-26 71. University 4 5 19 20 — 48 Morgatown 16 23 11 21 — 71
3-point goals: University 4 (Golden 2, Marcucci, Tucker). Morgantown 6 ( Parsons 2, Anderson, Wilson, Simmons, Petitte).

Jason DeProspero/The Dominion Post University High’s Brandon Tucker (center) draws a foul as he tries to split the double-team defense of Morgantown’s Michael Caridi (left) and Arius Jackson, in the second quarter.