Mohigans knock off No. 1
Marshall nets 20 to rescue MHS in two OT thriller

The Dominion Post

Morgantown High boys’ basketball coach Tom Yester had a frank conversation with junior forward Dean Marshall before the start of the Mohigans’ season. The talk centered on Marshall’s scoring and his celebrated teammate, fellow junior forward Nathan Adrian.
“Dean, if we’re going to go anywhere, you have to score opposite of Nathan,” Yester said. “You have to.” Marshall nodded.
Thursday night, he delivered.
With Adrian struggling offensively, Marshall responded with 20 points and seven rebounds in the No. 5 Mohigans’ 67-56 double-overtime victory against No. 1 Wheeling Park, at MHS’s Rowdy Center.
The 6-foot-3 Marshall scored nine points in the two extra sessions to give the young Mohigans (4-0) a critical early season victory. He notched the first four points of the second overtime, as MHS reeled off 14 unanswered points to put the contest away.
“I’ve thought about it,” Marshall said of his early season chat with Yester. “I’ve been playing with Nathan since the third grade. We know each other pretty well.
“When he’s not having a good day, I know I have to be there to pick up the slack. I’m going to do my best to be there.”
Marshall wasn’t the only MHS player to ride to the rescue Thursday. Guards Nick Colasante and Jeff Leftridge registered 22 and 10 points, respectively.
Those three players helped MHS battle back from a six-point deficit late in the fourth quarter when the Mohigans could have wilted.
“I’m just as happy as a hog in a waller,” Yester said. “It was very good to hold our composure. We were down six in the middle of the fourth quarter. Instead of pressing, we stayed the course. We showed what we are capable of doing.”
Colasante’s most important contribution may have been an intentional miss on his second free throw with 3.4 seconds remaining in regulation. He made the first one to cut the MHS deficit to 45-43.
He bounced his second attempt off the rim at just the right angle, so the 6-foot-9 Adrian could tip it into the bucket over his shorter defender. Wheeling Park couldn’t answer, and the teams went to overtime.
“That was a little bit of luck and a credit to Nathan,” Colasante said with a smile.
Leftridge converted a key 3-point play with one minute left in the first overtime to tie the score and force a second overtime. Adrian’s contributions can’t be overlooked, either.
He didn’t shoot well but finished with 10 points and 17 rebounds. His put-back sent the game into overtime. Yester was pleased with his effort on a night when he didn’t have his usual shooting accuracy.
“He didn’t get his normal points, but that’s OK,” Yester said. “He’ll have some nights when he gets a whole bunch. I was very happy for our guys. That’s why we’re a team. We compensated without Nathan scoring. Colasante and Marshall made some points, and they had to. You play a team like that, if somebody is shaky you are not going to do very well. They were calm and kept their approach.”
The Mohigans overcame a monster game from Wheeling Park’s “Boo” Lathon, who led the Patriots with 22 points and was a terror on the offensive boards.
“It’s a big win,” Colasante said. “We prepared and went hard in practice. This game meant a lot to us, especially to win.”
Lathon 9 4-8 22, Bell 2 0-0 4, Phillips 1 0-0 2, Thomas 1 0-0 2, Popicg 3 2-3 10, Baynes 4 5-7 14, Saseen 1 0-0 2. Totals 21 11-18 56.
Adrian 4 2-3 10, Marshall 8 3-4 20, Leftridge 3 4-5 10, Colasante 6 6-8 22, Agnew 1 1-2 3, Loudin 0 1-2 1, Johnson 0 1-2 1. Totals 22 18-26 67.
Wheeling Park 9 9 11 16 7 4 — 56
Morgantown 8 11 11 15 7 15 — 67
3-point goals: WP 3 (Popicg 2, Baynes), MHS 5 (Colasante 4, Marshall).

Jason DeProspero/ The Dominion Post
MHS’s Jeff Leftridge (on floor) applauds his basket and the subsequent foul call against Wheeling Park while his teammates cheer during the second overtime during their game Thursday night.