Cottrill, Logan intriguing match if Mohigans win

TO GET SOME INFORMATION on the upcoming boys’ state basketball tournament, I called Morgantown High coach Tom Yester, whose fifth-seeded Mohigans will take on fourth-seeded Capital on Thursday, in Charleston, in the tourney’s opening round.
“Hey, coach, how are ya?” I said, as casually as could be. “Whaddya up to?”
“I’m watching film on Logan,” Yester quickly replied.
Film on Logan?
My mind began to race. The tournament’s top seed, Logan? That Logan? Wait, wouldn’t Morgantown have to first beat Capital to play them? Did Yester just let slip that he’s looking ahead, past his first-round opponent and on to the semifinals? What does this ...
Before I could finish my thought, Yester chimed in.
“I don’t have a film on Capital yet,” he said. “When I get that, I’ll watch that. But for now, I’m watching Logan. That’s who we play if we win.”
Oh. That seems fair.
But, it did get me thinking. How exciting would a state semifinals game between Logan and Morgantown be?
The answer is, very.
Let me set the stage for you.
Morgantown beat Logan once this season, on Feb. 6, at the Big Atlantic Classic basketball tournament, in Beckley. The Mohigans rolled the state’s topranked team, 74-59, as MHS junior Taylor Price and senior Sam Runner scored 18 points apiece to erase a 13-point thirdquarter deficit by means of an 18-0 MHS run. It gets better. There is also the “Cottrill factor” to think about. Logan standout guard Noah Cottrill, who committed to WVU after his freshman season of high school, signed with the Mountaineers in November. He scored 21 points to lead all scorers the first time around. Now, on the eve of his college career and the twilight of his prep career, the fate of Cottrill’s high school legacy could lay in the very hands of the town he will soon call home. I love it. Excuse me, I’m getting ahead of myself again: I would love it.
Still, I’m not alone.
“It would be ironic. There is definitely a certain type of irony there,” Yester said. “If that situation occurs — which I hope it does, because it means we’re still playing — that would be interesting.”
If this dream matchup does occur, don’t expect any grudges to be held on either side. Cottrill will be welcomed to WVU with open arms, regardless of the outcome.
“Our people will always pull for the Mountaineers. We’ll take him in just like everybody else,” Yester said, before issuing the young guard a simple bit of caution. “We’ll pull for him, but just like anyone else, we/they expect him to come in and perform.”
Yester and the Mohigans will just have to hope Cottrill’s best performing days are still well ahead of him, as they would much rather see the Feb. 6 model than the version that has the 6-foot-3 senior ranked No. 79 overall in the 2010 recruiting class by
“I’d seen him before and he handles the ball well and passes well and takes some shots that might be bad for some players, but not for him. He has talent,” Yester said. “But against us, that was probably his/their worst shooting performance of the year.”
Logan was 3-for-22 from the floor and 0-for-9 from 3-point range in the second half in its first meeting with Morgantown. What the Wildcats will do with a second chance is anyone’s guess.
But, it’s up to Morgantown to win one more game before any of that matters.
ERIC HANLON is a sports reporter for The Dominion Post. Write to him at