MHS Teletough in Hawks’ home

Mohigans’ fans pump the team up

BY ERIC HANLON The Dominion Post

Armed with boom boxes and fake babies, a swarm of ravenous Morgantown High students, decked out in suits or in Teletubbies, referee and even Gumby costumes, descended upon the University High gymnasium and stole away the Hawks’ home-court advantage Friday.
Their Mohigans boys’ basketball team proceeded to rattle off its eighth consecutive victory, beating University, 73-35.
From start to finish, the MHS mob hounded the UHS players, making the Mohigans (9-2) feel right at home in their crosstown rivals’ gymnasium.
“Our students have been awesome this year,” MHS senior Ryan Parsons said. “The last couple of years they weren’t so great, but this year, my senior class has been tremendous.”
Parsons kicked off the festivities after being announced as a starter prior to the game. He ran over and mimed tossing a grenade into the student section, causing the entire MHS fan base to fall, as if a bomb had just gone off.
“A couple of my buddies are kind of the leaders of the student section and we talk things over before the games,” Parsons said with a chuckle. “The last couple games, they all lined up as pins and I pretended to roll a bowling ball at them. This game, we went with the grenade. We try to keep it loose.”
Even typically straight-laced MHS head coach Tom Yester enjoyed the crowd’s antics.
“I like that and appreciate it. I’m very proud of our student body. That stuff gives us a little boost,” he said. “I think it’s great. It shows that the crowd is in tune with the team. They’re teammates.”
Before long, the MHS players began dropping bombs of their own on the Hawks. MHS jumped out to a 34-10 halftime lead and hit 10 3-pointers by the game’s conclusion.
Four Mohigans scored 10 or more points in the win: Parsons (11), fellow seniors Sam Runner (12) and Jordan Barnett (14), and junior Taylor Price (10).
“That’s one of our strengths,” Parsons said. “We have great balance.”
Morgantown also was dominating in the post — a fact that pleased Yester.
“We wanted to play power basketball and we did,” he said. “We got 17 points from [Nathan] Colombo and Price and 13 from [Ben] Blemmings and Runner.”
UHS head coach Paul Ingle was also aware of the Mohi- gans’ physical domination.
“They’re longer and more physical than us, and their man-to-man defense didn’t allow us to do what we wanted to do,” he said. “We didn’t have the physicality to match up with them.”
Morgantown pulled down 30 rebounds in the win, nearly 15 more than UHS.
The loss was difficult for the UHS players to take in what has been an already disappointing season. But Ingle is hopeful his team will turn things around.
“Our kids come to practice and work hard every day. They’re amazingly resilient,” Ingle said of his Hawks (2-10). “This is tough, but they’ll be back tomorrow and ready to go, and they’ve done it again and again and again this year.”
UHS has yet to win a home game this year.
“I think our guys have a little fear or are a little nervous about playing at home in front of all their friends and family,” Ingle said. “We’ve got to find a way to play better on our home court.”
Runner 5 2-2 12, Barnett 5 0-0 14, Parsons 4 0-0 11, 3 4-5 10, Berryhill 2 1-2 6, Colombo 2 3-4 7, Keffer 0 1-2 1, Meador 2 0-0 5, Drake 1 0-0 3, Blemmings 0 0-0 0, Lusk 1 0-0 2, Watson 1 0-0 2. Totals 26 11-15 73.
Harrison 4 1-2 10, Favro 0 0-0 0, Stanley 0 0-0 0, Marcucci 1 0-2 2, Perrott 3 5-6 14, Payne 0 2-2 2, Nieman 2 1-4 5, Spirou 0 0-0 0, Taddie 0 0-0 0, Payton 0 2-2 2. Totals 10 11-18 35.
Morgantown 17 17 24 15 — 73 University 6 4 8 17 — 35
3-point goals: Morgantown 10 (Barnett 4, Parsons 3, Berryhill, Meador, Drake), University 4 (Perrott 3, Harrison).

Jason DeProspero/The Dominion Post University’s Alex Harrison tries to stop Morgantown’s Sam Runner on a third-quarter hook shot Friday.