Knights beat Mohigans

Thompson shines on Preston team

BY JOEL DANOY The Dominion Post

It’s not called the charity stripe for nothing.
Preston’s T.J. Thompson basically stole points from the Morgantown High boys’ basketball team, going 15-for-17 from the freethrow line in the Knights’ 57-39 victory Wednesday in Morgantown.
“I couldn’t get anything to fall so I just attacked the hoop,” Thompson said. “I knew I could beat anyone out there and I got to the line and shot my way out of my slump.”
Not hitting a field goal until 2:27 left in the third quarter, Thompson made his living at the free-throw line, draining his first 12 attempts. He made only three field goals in the game.
“He’s a combo — he can shoot the 3, he can put it on the deck, he can pass if he needs to and he’s patient,” MHS head coach Tom Yester said. “If you over play him he backdoors you, if you can’t contain him he takes you and gets whatever shot. He’s just a player.”
In the season opener for both teams, Colton Goff had 14 points for the Knights (1-0), while Jordan Barnett and Sam Runner each had eight points for the Mohigans (0-1).
Morgantown certainly padded the Preston’s numbers, as the Knights were shooting in the double-bonus with six minutes remaining in the second quarter and four minutes left in the game. Morgantown had 26 team fouls in the game to Preston’s 18.
“You have to play hard without fouling. After you see the game play, you have to adjust to what the referees are calling and we didn’t do a very good job of that,” Yester said. “You could tell they had four starters from last year and we only had one.”
It was a dismal shooting effort for the Mohigans, who went 4-of-23 from 3-point range. Morgantown had opportunities but couldn’t execute its shots.
“We had the looks we wanted. Most of them were wide open. But when you shoot 25 percent in a game it spells an ‘L’ every time,” Yester said. “You can’t expect to shoot less than 40 percent in games like this and win — it’s just not happening.”
For the Knights, everything boiled down to how they utilized their size and strength down low on offense and rebounding on both ends of the floor.
“I wasn’t happy with how much we turned the ball over, but I did like our rebounding. Once we got it down in the post with [Colton] Goff and [James] Crogan things started working,” PHS head coach Barry Sanders said. “We couldn’t get it down there in the first half and it showed. You can’t help the outside if you don’t get it to the post and support.
“I’m being honest, once we got going through the post, things just started happening.”
Goff was definitely the man that made it happen. After a slow start in the first quarter, where he was benched by Sanders, Goff came out on fire in the second half. Burying four straight field goals, Goff used his 6-foot-4 frame to post up defenders before calmly hitting what looked like routine fade away shots. Goff scored all of his 14 points in the second half, with nine coming in the fourth quarter.
“He missed all of last season so he was excited,” Sanders said. “Once he settled down, he ended up playing a pretty good ball game.”
After jumping out to a 10-2 lead, Morgantown didn’t make a field goal for six minutes and quickly fell behind the Knights after a 15-0 run of their own, bringing the score to 17-10. The Mohigans bounced back, making it 22-19 at halftime.
Two minutes into the third quarter, the Mohigans tied the game at 22. But the Knights again rallied with a 14-4 run, effectively pulling away from Morgantown the rest of the game. Preston outscored MHS 21-11 in the fourth quarter.
Preston hosts East Fairmont 7:30 p.m. Friday. Morgantown is back in action against visiting East Fairmont at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Berryhill 0 0-0 0, Lusk 0 1-2 1, Meador 1 0-0 3, Barnett 3 0-0 8, Parsons 2 0-2 5, Drake 0 0-0 0, Glover 0 1-2 1, Keffer 0 1-2 1, Blemings 2 0-0 4, Runner 3 2-4 8, Price 1 5-5 7, Colombo 0 1-2 1. Totals 12 11-19 39.
Cody Thompson 0 1-2 1, T.J. Thompson 3 15-17 22, Contic 2 1-2 7, Wagner 0 2-4 2, Murray 2 0-0 4, Boggs 1 0-0 2, Goff 6 2-5 14, Crogan 1 3-4 5. Totals 15 24-34 57.
Morgantown 10 9 9 11 — 39 Preston 6 16 14 21 — 57
3-pointgoals: Morgantown 4 (Barnett 2, Meador, Parsons). Preston 3 (Contic 2, T.J. Thompson).

Jason DeProspero/The Dominion Post Morgantown’s Evan Berryhill attempts to defend Preston’s Bronson Contic.