MHS finds more spark versus Park
Sectional final goes down to last minute
BY STEFANIE LOH The Dominion Post

WHEELING — The Morgantown High basketball team only led twice in its Region 1 sectional championship game, against Wheeling Park, on Friday night.
But even though the Mohigans lost, 45-39, to fall to 18-4 on the season, they can take solace in the fact that their second meeting with the Patriots this season yielded a much better result than the first one.
When the two teams met in January, Wheeling Park blew away MHS, 67-47, and forward Marqez O’Neal scored a barrage of points on the hapless Mohigans.
“I think Marqez had a million last time, something like that,” MHS head coach Tom Yester said. “I think he had 29 last time. We did a little better this time.”
This time, the Mohigans hung with Wheeling Park all the way through.
Wheeling Park got out to a hot start, with guards Shaun Black and Kelvin “Bubby” Goodwin each netting a 3 to help the Patriots roll out to a 10-2 lead.
But the Mohigans soon found their form and narrowed the gap to 12-7 by the end of the first quarter, thanks in large part to sharp play from senior forward Ryan Parsons.
Parsons was a force on the left wing. He finished the night with five 3-pointers and 18 points, and played a big part in helping MHS stay in the game.
His 3s came at the most opportune times.
The first was a huge morale booster in the first quarter that sparked the Mohigans to snap out of their early slump.
The second tied the game at 12, in the second quarter. Parsons also hit a free throw 30 seconds later that gave Morgantown its first lead of the night.
The senior sank his third trey to help MHS pull three behind by the end of the third quarter, and kept up his clutch long-range shooting form in the final quarter when he sank yet another 3, from the left wing, and also drew the foul to narrow the gap to 39-34.
But despite Parsons’ best efforts, the Mohigans’ poor execution eventually caught up to them.
“It’s just something we didn’t do the entire game and just didn’t pay attention to detail very well,” said Parsons, who assumed responsibility for a big late-game blunder that resulted in a turnover with the Mohigans trailing by four, with fewer than 40 seconds remaining.
Parsons attempted a shot from long range, only to get blocked by Wheeling Park guard Errin Baynes.
“We were supposed to set an on-ball screen, but I forgot,” Parsons said. “I take the blame for that. I forced up that 3 too quickly.”
Guard play also made the difference. The Mohigans struggled to bring the ball down and couldn’t penetrate in the paint. On the other end of the court, Patriots guard Goodwin wreaked havoc on MHS’s defense and led Wheeling Park with 14 points.
“Our guards are young. And if you notice, what [the Patriots] rely on is Bubby to penetrate. And then they block and shoot the corner shot or whatever,” Yester said.
The Mohigans were missing starting guard Evan Berryhill, who sustained an ankle injury against Elkins in February.
“But Sammy Lusk has done a good job for us,” Parsons said, referring to Berryhill’s replacement, a 6-foot, 175-pound sophomore.
With a bid to the state tournament on the line, MHS travels to Fairmont Senior on Tuesday night.
“We beat them twice in the regular season, and they’re very good shooters,” Parsons said. “They shoot a lot of 3s. We each have to come ready.”
Lusk 1 2-2 5, Meador 0 0-0 0, Barnett 0 2-2 2, Parsons 6 1-3 18, Adrian 0 0-0 0, Berryhill 0 0-0 0, Drake 0 0-0 0, Watson 0 0-0 0, Keffer 0 0-0 0, Blemings 0 0-0 0, Runner 5 0-0 10, Price 1 0-0 2, Colombo 1 0-0 2. Totals 14 5-7 39.
Black 5 0-0 13, Hall 1 0-0 2, Baynes 2 2-6 6, Goodwin 4 6-8 14, O’Neal 3 1-2 7, Griffin 0 0-0 0, Dolan 0 0-0 0, Bell 0 0-0 0, Lathon 0 0-0 0, Simpson 0 0-0 0, Kuca 1 0-0 2. Totals 16 9-16 45.
Morgantown High 7 8 14 10 — 39 Wheeling Park 12 10 11 12 — 45
3-pointgoals: MHS 6 (Parsons 5, Lusk), Park 4 (Black 3, Goodwin).