Mohigans on a mission to make hoops history
Win today puts MHS in final for just second time

The Dominion Post

CHARLESTON — The Morgantown High boys’ basketball team knows what it’s up against in its Class AAA state semifinal game at 9 p.m. today, at the Charleston Civic Center.
Sure, the second-seeded Mohigans (23-3) face a stiff opponent in George Washington. But really, history may be Morgantown’s biggest concern.
Since the WVSSAC moved to the current threeclass alignment, in 1959, Morgantown has never been to a state title game. Prior to that, the Mohigans went to the finals once, in 1956, and lost to a Jerry West-led East Bank team.
This is their 15th time in the state semifinals; they are 1-14 in those games.
The Mohigans know that history well, and are on a mission to change it.
“I know that we haven’t won a championship ever in men’s basketball,” senior Michael Keffer said. “So even making it to the semis is a pretty big deal because not too many MHS teams have even made it out of the first round.”
Head coach Tom Yester also knows how hard it is to make the finals. In his 30-plus years of coaching, Yester has never made a state title game.
But that’s not what Yester wants his team worrying about.
“I’ve been doing this for quite a while, so what I’m doing is trying to be focused on my job, which is getting these guys ready for George Washington,” Yester said. “We’re happy to be in this position. We can’t w o r r y about the past, we can only w o r r y ab o u t [ t h i s game].”
T he M o h i - gans still want to win for their longtime coach.
“It would be real important for our seniors and for Yester, since he’s never been there before,” sophomore Nathan Adrian said.
A year ago, Morgantown lost to Capital in the opening round.
“This group has been here before and they’re on a mission to do more here than they have in the past,” Yester said.
With the Mohigans one win from the title game, one might expect them to be nervous, especially considering history has worked against them so often. But that’s not the case.
“For me personally, [playing in the semifinals] makes me that much more exited,” Keffer said. “I’ve wanted to get there for so long, so I’m really pumped to get here. But everybody has to make sure to stay focused. And if we play the game I know we’re capable of playing, I think we have a really good chance at [winning] it all.”
Adrian added, “If the past has taught me anything, it’s we can do anything we want as long as we play how we know how to play.”

Tom Yester