Keffer, Mohigans cruise this time
Hawks can’t keep it close in a rematch
The Dominion Post
They say that in a rivalry game, you can throw out the record books.
Apparently, that bit of ancient sports wisdom applies only once per season.
The Morgantown boys’ basketball squad erased all memory of a four-quarters fight with rival University on Feb. 2 by dismissing those same Hawks, 71-39, Thursday night, at Morgantown High.
The fourth-ranked Mohigans (14-2) were without their secondleading scorer, sophomore Nathan Adrian, who sat out most of the game due to illness.
The Morgantown response was to spread the wealth around. Seniors Michael Keffer, Taylor Price and Alex Watson along with junior Sammy Lusk all hit double digits in scoring as the home team turned the contest into a one-sided affair early in the third quarter.
“We came to play tonight,” Morgantown coach Tom Yester said. “I thought our defense was consistent and when we got the offense going in the second quarter, I was pretty happy.”
The opening quarter was a defensive stalemate as both teams struggled to get decent looks at the basket. Senior Alex Harrison was on patrol for University, swatting away four shots, while the length and quickness of the defending Mohigans gave University fits.
UHS senior Alex Harrison paced the Hawks (5-12) in the early going with a pair of 3-pointers and it appeared as if the Hawks would take a four-point lead into the second quarter. But Lusk was fouled on his quarter-ending half-court heave. He would promptly knock down all three free throws and University held a 12-11 advantage.
The Mohigans made their move in the second quarter behind Keffer and Price.
Keffer set up teammates for easy looks with a pair of assists, including a superb wraparound pass to Ben Blemmings to open the second period. University would manage only five points in the quarter while the Mohigans seemed to hit their stride offensively.
Morgantown got another score in the paint from Blemmings to go with field goals from senior Carlton Drake and Keffer. Price put an exclamation mark on things by taking a dish from Drake and hammering down a two-handed baseline dunk as the closing seconds of the first half ticked off the scoreboard. The Mohigans took a 29-16 lead into the locker room.
University senior Arthur Spirou scored on a couple of athletic drives early in the third quarter, but the comeback attempt was not in the cards and the Mohigans continued to widen the margin.
Drake scored on a nice runner before Price ripped off five points in a row, including an old-fashioned 3-point play off a nice assist from Keffer. After a Keffer steal and layup, Lusk closed out scoring for MHS with the Mohigans’ only 3-pointer on the night.
“They played a very physical man[-to-man] defense all night and they really did a nice job getting into our passing lanes and they did a nice job hedging on our screens,” University coach Paul Ingle said. “When a team can do those things to you, it’s very hard to have any continuity in your offense.”
The coach went on to say that he doesn’t feel alone. “If you look down the string of games they’ve had at home this year, we’re not the first team to struggle to find points in here. That’s a credit to the style of defense that they play.”
If things were bad up to this point, the wheels came off the wagon for UHS in the fourth quarter, starting with a Price slam and a Watson jumper. Kevin Baldy knocked down another 3 and Harrison connected inside, but the Mohigans went on to outscore the Hawks, 27-12, in the quarter.
Keffer led all scorers with 14 points, followed by Lusk and Price, with 12 each, and Watson, with 11. Carlton added eight points from his guard spot while Blemmings played solid minutes in the paint, tossing in seven points.
“The guy that caught my eye tonight was Keffer with five rebounds, five steals and three assists with 14 points,” Yester said. “That’s a pretty good night. I thought he played very well.”
For University, Baldy ended with 11 points including three 3s. Spirou followed with nine and Harrison with six points.
Perrott 1 0-0 2, Harrison 3 0-0 6, Baldy 4 0-0 11, Spirou 4 1-2 9, Favro 1 1-2 3, Dixon 1 0-0 2, Nieman 1 2-2 4, Cunningham 0 2-2 2. Totals 12 6-8 39.
Berryhill 0 1-2 1, Lusk 2 7-7 12, Colasante 0 2-3 2, Watson 3 5-6 11, Keffer 4 6-7 14, Carlton 4 0-0 8, Blemmings 3 1-2 7, Agnew 2 0-1 4, Price 5 2-3 12. Totals 23 24-31 71.
Morgantown 11 18 15 27 — 71 University 12 4 11 12 — 39 3-pointgoals: MHS 1 (Lusk), UHS 3 (Baldy 3).

Bob Gay/The Dominion Post
Morgantown High’s Taylor Price (45) shoots a layup over University High’s Kyle Favro. Price scored 12 points in Thursday’s city-rivalry game.