Adrian, defense boost MHS
Mohigans put Knights away in second half

For The Dominion Post

KINGWOOD — It took a little time to get the offense going, but tough defense throughout helped the sixth-ranked Morgantown High boys’ basketball team beat Preston, 50-32, Wednesday night.
After being held to six points (2-of-8 from the field) in the first half, MHS (10-3) standout Nathan Adrian came out on fire in the second. Adrian went 6-of-9 from the field, including two quick buckets to start the third quarter, to help the Mohigans start to build their lead to 10 by the end of the period.
Adrian finished the game with 20 points.
Preston “didn’t do much different from the first to the second half (defensively), we just switched our offense and figured out what to do,” Adrian said.
The Knights (6-10) played solid defense in the first half. Adrian was forced into a couple turnovers early while trying to dribble along the baseline, and Preston’s 1-3-1 zone collapsed on him any time he caught an entry pass.
PHS capitalized on several MHS turnovers in the first quarter to take a 7-5 lead at the first break. The Knights were successful in slowing the Mohigans’ transition game, regularly playing long possessions in the half-court.
MHS saw a little more success in the second quarter, getting a couple quick fast-break buckets and eventually taking the lead midway through. The Knights’ defense began to wear down as MHS started getting open looks and clear lanes to the basket.
PHS head coach Barry Sanders said his team needs to give constant effort for all four quarters, and said the Mohigans’ depth may have played a factor in his team’s second-half slump.
“They made some shots, and we didn’t play very good defense,” Sanders said. “I just think they did a poor defensive job in the second half. We did well in the first half.”
The MHS defense remained stout throughout the game, never allowing more than nine points in a quarter. Mohigans head coach Tom Yester said team defense was the key to victory.
“That, and in the second half we got the ball a little better to [Adrian] and he did a couple things. Then they couldn’t just sit back for the rest of the half when we got a lead,” Yester said. “It’s a team victory, it takes a team to get there, now we gotta go down to Beckley and play down there.” Morgantown meets Hedgesville in the Big Atlantic Classic, on Friday. Preston is home to Elkins on Saturday.
PRESTON (6-10) Adams 2 1-3 5, T. Groves 0 1-2 1, Scott 2 0-0 5, Galusky 3 2-2 10, Koch 2 1-2 6, Herndon 0 2-2 2, L. Groves 1 0-0 3. Totals 10 7-11 32. MORGANTOWN (10-3) Colasante 2 1-1 5, Marshall 0 1-2 1, Allen 3 3-4 9, Agnew 4 1-2 9, Adrian 8 3-4 20, Loudin 0 2-2 2, Fleming 1 0-0 3, Eby 0 1-2 1. Totals 18 12-17 50. Preston High 7 7 9 9 — 32 Morgantown 5 13 15 17 — 50 3-point goals: Preston 5 (Galusky 2, Scott, Koch, L. Groves), MHS 2 (Adrian, Fleming).

Bob Gay/The Dominion Post
Preston’s Kody Adams (left) works the ball upcourt under pressure from Morgantown’s Nick Colasante, in Wednesday’s game.