MHS mauls Monarchs
Pulls away in 2nd half of sectional

Morgantown High’s boys rebounded after a sluggish start to win easily against John Marshall in sectional play Wednesday, 54-38.
Taylor Price and Jordan Barnett, who scored 10 and 12 points respectively, led the team offensively. The Mohigans will move on to face Wheeling Park, at Wheeling, on Friday night in the sectional final.
After trailing at the end of the first quarter, 13-10, Morgantown picked up its play in the second. MHS held John Marshall to five points for the period while scoring 13 and gained a 23-18 lead going into halftime, though John Marshall was still within striking distance.
As the second half started, Morgantown began to come on strong. Barnett hit a 3-pointer to start the period, lighting a spark for the Mohigans offensively. Barnett followed with another jumper to put Morgantown up by 10.
John Marshall called a timeout to regroup, but it didn’t appear to be effective. Morgantown ended up going on a 12-2 run in the first four minutes of the period, capped off by Sam Lusk’s old-fashioned three-point play. Defense played a key role in the third-quarter surge, as John Marshall managed just six points for the period.
The Mohigans never looked back from that point, and went into the fourth quarter with a comfortable lead, 43-24.
Morgantown coach Tom Yester said that after his team’s performance in the first half, “The kids were irritated with themselves.” He added, “When we ran, [the Monarchs] couldn’t keep up,” so Morgantown tried getting into fast-break situations more often in the second half.
John Marshall was unable to muster a comeback in the fourth quarter, and Morgantown cruised to its victory.
Yester said that overall, “Our preparation was good, but our execution wasn’t very good,” and noted that Morgantown committed 20 turnovers — about eight more than the team’s season average, he said.
Yester credited the Morgantown big men for picking up the slack on the evening. “Nathan Columbo and Price on the boards were key, and the guards settled down in the second half,” he said.
Senior Sam Runner, Morgantown’s leader through the season, had a bit of an off night and scored only six points. Yester said the team was fortunate to have other players step up.
“Barnett got hot, and Price and Columbo got hot for us,” he said.
Price said defense and hustle were keys to shutting down John Marshall. “Our play guarding the ball wasn’t good, but our help defense stepped up, and we got lots of loose balls and blocks,” he said.
Price added that in the first half, the team played sloppily, but recovered by the second half. “In the first half, we had a lot of turnovers. In the second half, we cleaned up, and crashed the boards,” he said.
Additionally, the Mohigans played with more focus at the start of the third quarter.
“We came out of the locker room after halftime with a lot of intensity, and that got us the win,” he said.
Price said that if Morgantown is going to beat Wheeling Park, the Mohigans’ defense would be the key.
In the sectional tournament, Yester said, a team is fortunate if it can continue to play.
“Just be happy you survive,” he said.
Lo. Martin 0 1-2 1, Lu. Martin 1 0-0 2, Wade 2 0-2 4, Fonner 2 0-0 4, Lightner 1 1-1 3, Clutter 0 0-0 0, Hays 2 7-10 11, Levenski 3 2-2 9, Hummel 2 0-0 4. Totals 13 11-17 38.
Runner 3 0-0 6, Lusk 2 3-3 7, Barnett 5 0-0 12, Parsons 3 0-0 6, Columbo 3 3-3 9, Price 3 4-5 10, Drake 1 0-2 2, Loudin 0 0-0 0, Keffer 0 0-0 0, Blemings 0 0-0 0, Adrian 1 0-0 2, Meador 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 10-13 54. John Marshall 13 5 6 14 — 38 Morgantown High 10 13 20 11 — 54
3-point goals: Morgantown 2 (Barnett 2), John Marshall 1 (Levenski).

Bob Gay/The Dominion Post John Marshall’s Justin Wade (left) deflects a shot by Morgantown’s Sam Lusk, in Wednesday’s game.