MHS’s Price boys’ Player of Year

Quiet senior led Mohigans to state


The Dominion Post

H e’s quiet, he isn’t flashy and, prior to this season, he never started. Those three factors led to Morgantown High senior Taylor Price being perhaps the state’s best-kept secret.

Price burst onto the boys’ high school basketball scene this year, proving to be one of the state’s elite post players while leading Morgantown High to the state semifinals.

As a result, Price has been named The Dominion Post’s Player of the Year.

“I just want to thank God for giving me the opportunity and talent to play the way I do,” Price said. “And also for putting me in this community and allowing me to play with my teammates.”

Joining Price on The Dominion Post’s all-area team are Preston seniors Shayne Murray and Colton Goff, and Trinity seniors A.J. Mayle and Chris Martinez.

Price shot 60 percent from the floor to average 15.3 points per game, while also snagging six rebounds per game. He was an 82 percent free throw shooter.

That’s exactly the kind of season MHS head coach Tom Yester thought Price was capable of having.

“That’s what we hoped. We hoped he could be the man,” Yester said. “His hard work in the offseason gave us that hope.”

Price was happy to oblige his coach.

“I had a longer leash this year, more slack, I should say,” Price said. “Pretty much the team was mostly on my back. Last year, it was [our seniors’] team. But at the end of the season last year, Yester told me I had to be the guy, so that’s what I strove for.”

Price, who was a Class AAA first-team all-state selection, was a force on the court. Off it, though, Yester often described him as a “gentle giant.”

“He’s a laid-back kid. I always say he’s Southern California,” Yester said. “But he stepped up and was much more of a leader than I thought he’d be. It was good to see him come out of his shell.”

Price commented on his attitude.

“I could be the most easygoing guy off court, but whenever it’s game time, I have no friends,” Price said. “The only friends I have then are my teammates.”

Similarly, Martinez is softspoken but dominating.

Martinez was named captain of the Class A first-team all-state team, essentially making him the Class A Player of the Year.

He finished with 16.9 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. In 2010, he averaged 20.5 ppg and 10.1 rpg and was named The Dominion Post’s Player of the Year.

“His numbers were not quite as big this year, but in some ways they were even better,” Trinity head coach Herman Pierson said. “He was double [teamed] a lot. He’s an all-around excellent player who continued to improve.”

Joining Martinez as a Class A first-team all-stater was Mayle, who did a little of everything for the Warriors. The point guard recorded 15.8 points, 3.5 assists, 3 steals and 2.1 rebounds per game.

And although he played point guard, it really wasn’t Mayle’s natural position.

“He’s a combo guard. He can play at No. 1 or No. 2 and score from both,” Pierson said. “He’s not your typical point guard. He has a scoring mentality, which most point guards don’t have. He’s an outstanding shooter and he handles the ball well.”

While Mayle and Martinez were a dangerous combo to defend against, Murray and Sanders were perhaps the most difficult post-player combo anywhere.

“I don’t think anybody in the state had better post players than us,” PHS coach Barry Sanders said. “We played the best in the state and did a good job on them. They are good players, strong kids and hard workers.”

Murray, who also earned Class AAA first-team honors, was the area’s leading scorer, with 17.5 ppg. He also grabbed 7.2 rebounds per game.

Murray’s ability to get to and convert from the free throw line made him even more dangerous.

“He shot 75-77 percent from the foul line and he got there 180-190 times,” Sanders said. “He knew that shooting well at the foul line benefited him because when you shoot that way, there’s a lot of pressure on the other team not to foul you.”

Goff, who averaged 12.9 points and 11 rebounds, earned third-team all-state honors.

Goff was one of the most physical post players in the area, but also showed moments of great quickness and ability to shoot outside.

“Colton was a different kind of post player. He was more face-to-the-basket,” Sanders said. “He went more with his speed. He was maybe a little quicker than Murray.”


Taylor Price

Morgantown High

Bob Gay/The Dominion Post file photos

Chris Martinez

Trinity Christian

A.J. Mayle

Trinity Christian

Colton Goff

Preston High

Shayne Murray

Preston High