Adrian repeats as Player of Year
Triplett, Tomer, Galusky, Opyoke also make team
The Dominion Post
Nathan Adrian was probably under the microscope more than any other basketball player at the 2013 state tournament.
As Morgantown High took the Charleston Civic Center floor against South Charleston and the WVU signee was about to play in his sixth quarter back from a broken foot, murmurs and speculations carried down press row and through the crowd.
“Which one is Nathan Adrian?”
“Is he fully recovered?”
“Is he going to help the Mountaineers next season?”
In that game, the 6-foot-9 forward scored 17 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and made four blocks and two assists, yet the arena wasn’t buzzing and he characterized his own performance as “bad” after the Mohigans were defeated.
“His offensive numbers weren’t as good as usual, but 17 rebounds, four blocked shots and two assists is really something,” MHS head coach Tom Yester said. “He’s such a multifaceted player, and a lot of times that goes overlooked. People think if you are tall, it’s easy, but it’s not quite that easy.”
It was nothing new for the Mohigans’ standout, who is moving on from a historic high school career to become the first local player to receive a scholarship to play men’s basketball at WVU since Jay Jacobs, in 1956.
Neither was recently being named first-team all-state. Neither is being named The Dominion Post’s Player of the Year, joining Trinity senior Cody Triplett, University senior Travis Tomer, Preston junior Jimmy Galusky and Clay-Battelle senior Logan Opyoke on the all-area team.
Adrian, who averaged 20.5 points, 13.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.8 blocks and shot 50 percent from the floor in 17 games this season, repeats both honors from 2012.
Yester thinks the attention won’t change as Adrian, who led MHS to a 19-7 record, transitions to WVU.
“The last time [a local player] was on scholarship there was Jay Jacobs and that’s a long time ago, so he is going to have certain expectations and the microscope might be a little tighter on him,” Yester admitted.
Adrian said he felt the eyes on him in Charleston before the game started, but once it began, any thoughts of that faded away. He hopes the same will happen when he puts on a WVU uniform.
“I don’t think it will be bad once I get there. Everybody coming in is exactly the same,” he said. “I’m just honored to play for my home state and hopefully do something good.”
Both he and Yester are more excited about the opportunities associated with playing for one’s home state university.
“It’s got advantages and disadvantages but more advantages,” Yester said. “You already have a fan base, when other people have to develop one. You’re already going to know the area, you don’t have to get acclimated at all, and you already have friends in the area. He already knows all these players.”
“There is definitely some support from people around town,” Adrian agreed. “I already know where I’m at, I’m already used to the university, so I won’t have to go through the getting-used-to-it process.”
Though locals will likely follow Adrian’s WVU career and remember his MHS accomplishments for a long time, he said the accolades weren’t what mattered the most.
“I got to play with some of my best friends and I wouldn’t trade that for anything,” Adrian said. “It doesn’t mean as much to me as the times I spent with my friends, the games we played and shared together. I’m happier for my team than I am for myself.”
Cody Triplett
Triplett also returned from the 2012 all-area team with an even better season. He ended a prolific high school career by earning Class A first-team all-state honors for the second season in a row.
Triplett became Trinity’s all-time leading scorer this season, amassing 1,717 points in his four-year career. During that time, the Warriors, who posted a 13-9 record this season, advanced to the state tournament twice. They were the state runner-up in 2011, and played in the quarterfinals in 2012.
Triplett was a first-team all-state selection as a junior and a third-team selection as a sophomore.
The 6-foot-7 senior was the area’s leading scorer for the second consecutive season, averaging 21.8 points per game this year. He played wherever the Warriors needed him, contributing 9.8 rebounds and 4.1 assists, while pouring in 47 3-pointers. He also shot 89 percent from the free-throw line.
Triplett also has a promising collegiate hoops future, should he choose to pursue it. He has considered playing at several Division II colleges, and is also interested in studying engineering and walking on at WVU.
“I think everyone would probably be pleasantly surprised what he is capable of doing if he gets into strength training and talking to a dietary expert,” Trinity head coach Herman Pierson said. “He could make excellent contributions to any team. Coaches tell him his best basketball days are ahead of him.”
Travis Tomer
Tomer turned a good high school career into a historic one this season. UHS’s senior forward became the school’s first Class AAA first-team all-state selection since 2007 graduate Jedd Gyorko, who now plays for the San Diego Padres baseball team.
After being his team’s second-leading scorer with 11.2 ppg as a junior, in 2012, Tomer did anything that was needed of him this season. He led the Hawks in every statistical category except assists, where he followed point guard Curl Dixon.
Tomer averaged 17.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 2.4 steals and 2.4 blocks. He also poured in 65 3-pointers, leading all area players by 18. His improvements carried the Hawks from last season’s 11-12 record to this season’s 16-9 effort.
With a 6-foot-5 frame and lights-out shooting ability, Tomer is being courted by several college basketball programs, but has yet to make a decision.
“That’s such a rare combination, and I think that’s what is attractive about him,” UHS head coach Paul Ingle said. “He wants to play either [small forward] or [power forward] at the next level, so if he wants to play [small forward] he will work on his ball-handling, but his size and shooting from the perimeter make him hard to close out on defensively, plus he has very good mechanics.”
Jimmy Galusky
Galusky, a junior shooting guard, is the third returnee from the 2012 all-area team who also bettered his performance.
Galusky has always been one of the area’s premier shooters, but he became a reliable defender and rebounder, while improving his ability to drive to the basket this season.
The third-team all-state selection poured in 18.7 points per game, including 39 3-pointers. He also grabbed 6 rebounds and converted 71 percent of his free throws.
Galusky, who led Preston to an 18-5 record and a Big Ten conference championship, also showed toughness. After he suffered a dislocated rib in a victory against Bridgeport, Galusky battled through the next game against UHS, then responded with a season-high 37 points two nights later, against North Marion.
“We would give him treatments at halftime and fix the bandage,” Preston head coach Barry Sanders recalled. “He’s a tough kid. A great kid, great attitude, desire is super, great parents. He does a nice job and he’s going to be a great player for me next year.”
Logan Opyoke
A four-year starter for the Cee-Bees, Opyoke ended his career averaging 17.1 points, 11 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 2.1 steals. He scored more than 400 points this season to become one of just four players in school history to surpass the 1,000-point mark.
Opyoke thrived in the paint, where he relied on hustle, his 6-foot-5 frame and a quick jump shot. However, he also had the shooting range and ball-handling ability to stretch opponent’s defenses out to the perimeter and create mismatches.
The Class A second-team all-state selection recorded 17 double-doubles on the season, getting better as the year went on to end with seven in a row. When junior forward Zach Chisler became hampered by an ankle injury midway through the season, Opyoke stepped up to lead the Cee-Bees to the Class A Region I finals and a 16-9 record.
“All the boys look up to Logan,” C-B head coach Josh Kisner said. “Logan is a kid that doesn’t get frustrated, he comes out and gives 100 percent every game, every practice. He fills his role and does a really nice job at it.”

Travis Tomer, University

Cody Triplett, Trinity

Jimmy Galusky, Preston

Logan Opyoke, Clay-Battelle

Bob Gay/The Dominion Post file photos