Mohigans fall short of state final again

The Dominion Post

CHARLESTON — There’s just something about Morgantown High’s boys in the state semifinals.
The second-seeded Mohigans once again came up shy of making the Class AAA basketball state title game, falling, 52-37, to third-seeded George Washington, on Friday.
Morgantown is now 1-15 alltime in the semifinals, and has not made it to the title game since losing to a Jerry West-led East Bank team in 1956.
“We’ve been close a couple times in the semis before,” MHS head coach Tom Yester said. “We were close in this one. We just couldn’t get anything together.”
Understandably, the Mohigans (24-4) were disappointed following the loss.
“It’s a devastating feeling,” senior Taylor Price said. “But really, we’ve got each other. In my opinion, we have one of the best bonds I’ve ever seen here at Morgantown High, so life goes on.”
George Washington (25-3) dominated inside the entire game. Senior Tyquane Goard (a Player of the Year candidate) and junior Thomas Franke combined for 33 points and 22 rebounds.
“I thought we had a pretty good idea of how to keep Goard in check, but he’s a handful,” Yester said. “And Franke, when he goes 8-for-12 (shooting) and you’re trying to keep Goard down — well, that’s the game right there.”
Morgantown had one of the more prolific offenses in the state. But George Washington was ready, holding the Mohigans to their lowest point total of the season — their previous low was 48.
“We picked the wrong night to have the worst game of our season,” Price said. “It’s not like we laid down. We gave it our all. It just wasn’t meant to be.”
There wasn’t much room for either offense to operate early. Morgantown didn’t hit its first field goal until 2:45 remained in the first quarter.
Still, the Patriots led just 9-7 at the start of the second quarter.
Frustration set in during that period and, perhaps while trying to do too much, the Mohigans started committing turnovers. For the game, MHS turned it over 13 times, compared to only six assists.
After making 66.7 percent of their shots during the first half of their quarterfinals game, against Logan, on Wednesday, the Mohigans were 7-of-22 (31.8 percent) from the floor in the first half against the Patriots.
George Washington was 8-of-17 (47.1 percent) and led, 22-16, at the half.
Not much changed in the third frame and Morgantown trailed, 34-28, to begin the fourth quarter.
Things got worse from there as Price fouled out with 5:17 left and the Mohigans down, 38-31. The Patriots quickly extended their lead and pulled away down the stretch.
The Mohigans were 14-of-47 (29.8 percent) on fieldgoal attempts in the loss.
“Our shooting percentage was in the 20s. Whoo,” Yester said. “That’s tough.”
George Washington advances to play top-seeded Wheeling Park in the final, at 7:15 p.m. today.
Senior Michael Keffer led MHS with 10 points and two assists. Price finished with three points and three rebounds, while sophomore Nathan Adrian had eight points and 10 rebounds.
DiTrapano 1-6 0-0 2, Britton 2-4 4-4 8, Switzer 1-2 0-0 2, Goard 7-9 0-1 14, Franke 8-12 2-2 19, Eddy 2-8 2-4 7, Williams 0-1 0-0 0, Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Saunders 0-0 0-0 0, Breeden 0-1 0-0 0, King 0-0 0-0 0, Crouser 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-44 8-11 52.
Berryhill 0-0 0-0 0, Keffer 4-12 0-0 10, Drake 0-3 2-2 2, Adrian 4-13 0-0 8, Price 1-8 1-2 3, Lusk 1-1 0-0 2, Colasante 0-0 0-0 0, Watson 3-6 3-4 9, Marshall 0-2 1-2 1, Lee 0-0 0-0 0, Blemings 1-1 0-0 2, Agnew 0-0 0-0 0, Loudin 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 14-47 7-10 37.
George Washington 9 13 12 18—52 Morgantown 7 9 12 9—37
3-point goals—George Washington 2-12 (Franke 1-2, Eddy 1-5, Britton 0-1, Breeden 0-1, DiTrapano 0-3), Morgantown 2-9 (Keffer 2-4, Drake 0-1, Marshall 0-1, Adrian 0-3). Fouled out—DiTrapano, Price. Rebounds—George Washington 30 (Goard 13), Morgantown 29 (Adrian 10). Assists—George Washington 13 (Franke, Eddy 4), Morgantown 6 (Keffer, Lusk 2).

Jason DeProspero/The Dominion Post
Morgantown High’s Evan Berryhill (11) and Nathan Adrian embrace as their season comes to an end Friday.

Jason DeProspero/The Dominion Post
The Mohigans’ Nathan Adrian glides toward the basket, in the state semifinal game against George Washington.