Adrian (27), Mohigans soar past Black Eagles
For The Dominion Post

It was another big measuring stick game for the sixthranked Morgantown High boys’ basketball team Saturday night, when the Mohigans hosted No. 2 South Charleston, a team that might have seemed strangely familiar.
Just 10 days ago, the Mohigans traveled to top-ranked Fairmont Senior, where the Polar Bears’ outstanding quickness, combined with MHS’s sloppy play, led to a disappointing 53-47 loss.
MHS had to face another undefeated team blessed with speed and athleticism.
But this time, Morgantown more than measured up, taking advantage of its superior length and solid man-to-man defense to defeat the Black Eagles, 70-58.
The Mohigans (7-1) pounded the boards early, limiting SCH (5-1) to one shot on offense and earning second and third chances for themselves, but it was sound fundamental basketball in breaking the full-court press that allowed MHS to jump out to an early advantage.
Three-pointers by Nick Colasante, Mark Johnson and Nate Adrian late in the first quarter gave MHS a 17-8 lead. SCH forward Jon Elmore, who led the Black Eagles with 17 points, heated up in the second quarter with eight points, but every time the lead dwindled close to a one-possession gap, a big Mohigans bucket, or a defensive stop, or a quick change in tactics from coach Tom Yester bumped the lead back to a more comfortable six or eight.
“We knew we’d have to play them man-to-man to beat them, because their quickness would carve up a zone,” Yester explained. “But we were able to jump into our half-court trap at the end of the second quarter a little bit, which produced some easy baskets for us in transition.”
One of those was a monster dunk from junior forward Adrian (who finished with a game-high 27 points along with 11 rebounds), which helped the Mohigans carry a 32-26 halftime lead. And there the lead stayed for most of the third quarter as well. SCH whittled it to three at the four-minute mark, but Morgantown went on a 12-2 run to take a 13-point lead late in the quarter, until careless play against the Black Eagles’ desperate full-court pressure led to turnovers and buckets that cut the lead to 46-38 heading into the final frame.
Then Adrian took control of the paint, scoring four baskets and converting a pair of free throws as MHS looked to go into the post, and SCH had no answer. The Morgantown lead never got below three points, the defense limited the Black Eagles to five points from the four-minute mark until the final 30 seconds, and the Mohigans put a solid, signature tally into the win column.
“We thought we could take advantage of our size and either get to the hole or the foul line,” Adrian said. “South Charleston is just as quick as Fairmont Senior, and they probably shoot better. We didn’t take care of the ball very well at all before, but we played much better as a unit tonight.”
A satisfied Yester praised his junior-dominated team after the victory.
“That was Austin’s (Agnew) best game all year,” he said. “Nine points, 14 rebounds, nearly a doubledouble. I thought Colasante’s defense and ball-handling against a very quick guard (SCH’s Rashaud Kincaid) was a big key for us, because he couldn’t penetrate much all night, which usually sets up a lot of their offense. Dean (Marshall) was solid as well, and (Jeff) Leftridge gutted out some good minutes for us on a sore ankle.
“All in all,” he said, sitting back in his chair with a smile on his face, “it was a pretty good Saturday night.”
Morgantown plays its next eight games on the road, beginning Thursday, with John Marshall.
The MHS JV team struggled offensively early, scoring just six points in the first quarter, and was never able to recover in dropping a 67-56 decision to SCH. Thomas Shelby scored 17 to lead the Mohigans, while SCH’s Clark Tre led all scorers with 18.
Elmore 4 6-8 17, Kincaid 3 0-0 7, Williams 4 0-0 8, Reese 0 6-8 6, Moles 0 2-4 2, Brown 5 2-4 12, Elmore 1 4-6 6. Totals 17 20-30 58.
Johnson 1 2-2 5, Colasante 3 4-5 11, Leftridge 2 0-0 6, Marshall 3 2-4 8, Adrian 9 7-10 27, Loudin 1 2-2 4, Agnew 3 3-4 9. Totals 22 20-27 70.
South Charleston 8 18 12 20 — 58
Morgantown 17 15 14 24 — 70
3-point goals: SCH 4 (Elmore 3, Kincaid), MHS 6 (Adrian 2, Leftridge 2, Colasante, Johnson).

Jason DeProspero/The Dominion Post
Morgantown High’s Nate Adrian powers up a shot against South Charleston, in Saturday’s game.