MHS celebrates 100 years of boys’ hoops
“BASKET-BALL HAS been tried in the High School but with rather questionable success and I often wonder that it has not done more evil than good,” reads the 1911 Morgantown High School yearbook.
Nonetheless, basketball became an official sport at MHS three years later. In 1914, the Mohigans played the school’s first boys’ basketball game, losing to Grafton, 49-16.
Turns out, this hoops thing was here to stay.
When the Mohigans host crosstown rival University High at 7:30 p.m. today, they will celebrate 100 years of MHS boys’ basketball with an alumni night. All former players are invited to attend and will be honored at the game.
MHS has come a long way since that one-game, one-loss season in 1914.
A few tidbits of history worth celebrating:
Charles “Wink” Simmons became the Mohigans’ first allstate player, in 1922.
Arthur H. Clyde took over as the Mohigans’ head coach in 1924, and coached for 30 years with a record of 320-251.
UHS opened in 1925; the new MHS and its Clyde Gymnasium opened in 1927; and in 1929, MHS won the first crosstown rivalry game, 29-8. The Hawks earned their first win in the crosstown rivalry series in 1935.
In 1945, Frankie Lemine became MHS’s first first-team all-state player in today’s voting system.
In 1951, first-team all-state player Charles Huggins, who went on to become an Ohio High School Hall of Fame coach and the father of WVU head men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins, broke the state tournament scoring record for big schools with 38 points against Charleston and set a state-tournament record by sinking 19 consecutive free throws. MHS lost the semifinal game, 78-60, to a Charleston team that had a spectacular sophomore named “Hot Rod” Hundley.
The Mohigans advanced to the state finals in 1956, and lost, 71-56, to an East Bank squad with Jerry West. Jay Jacobs, now color commentator for the WVU men’s basketball team, set the MHS scoring record with 1,268 points.
In 1965, Eddie Hriblan broke the single-game MHS scoring record twice, first with 46 points in a game against Grafton, then five games later with 47 against Fairmont West.
Tom Yester took over the MHS coaching reins in 1983. Yester, who coached for nine years with a 108-81 record at UHS, is now in his 31st year at MHS, with a 498-257 record. He has taken 13 MHS teams and one UHS team to the state tournament.
The new MHS gym, dubbed the Rowdy Center, opened in 1998, and Aaron Cage put the first basket through the hoop, in a JV game.
The Mohigans have produced a 1,248-786 all-time record, 21 conference championships and 12 first-team allstate players.
Yester earned his 600th career victory this season, with a 96-68 win against Wheeling Park. His career record is 606-338 heading into tonight’s matchup with the Hawks, the first in the rivalry this season.
In November, Nathan Adrian became the first Morgantown player to receive a scholarship to play men’s hoops at WVU since Jacobs. Adrian is averaging 20.0 points per game, and has 1,029 entering tonight’s game. He is 240 from breaking Jacobs’ scoring record, which has stood for 57 years.
MHS (11-1) is ranked No. 2 in the state, with hopes of capturing its first state title in its 100th season of basketball.
KRISTIN KURELIC is a sports reporter for The Dominion Post. Write to her at  .