Patriots fall short against Mohigans
December 22, 2012
By Dave Morrison ( or Twitter @sddsports) ,
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MARTINSBURG - Washington dug itself two major holes Friday in its matchup with Morgantown in the first round of the Martinsburg Holiday Tournament.

It found its way out of the first. The second was too deep for the Patriots to escape.

West Virginia-bound Nathan Adrian scored 15 points, including three key free throws down the stretch as Morgantown (3-0) held on for a 50-48 win.

Martinsburg away

Journal photo by Ron Agnir
Morgantown’s Austin Agnew, right, shoots over Washington’s Kendall Smith during the first half of their game in the Martinsburg Hoops?Shootout Friday.

Hold on was exactly what the Mohigans had to do.

Despite outscoring the Patriots 22-3 in the third, and grabbing as much as a 14-point lead, the Patriots fought all the way back to within one. Twice.

Washington (4-2) had chances.

After a pair of free throws by Washington's Kendall Smith pulled the Patriots to within 47-46, the 6-foot-9 Adrian stepped to the line a made a pair of free throws to extend the lead to 49-46.

Kendron Bell answered that with a pair of free throws to make it 49-48 with 36.2 left and then it really got interesting.

On the inbounds, Washington trapped Mark Johnson in the corner and created a turnover.

Dominque Newman was fouled on a drive to the basket but missed the front end of a 1-and-1.

Adrian then made the first of two free throws to make it 50-48 with 21 seconds left. After missing the second, he semi-redeemed himself with a steal, but was called for traveling giving the ball back to Washington with 5.3 seconds left.

Maleke Jones missed a driving shot to the basket, but, the ball was knocked out of bounds by the Mohigans with 0.3 remaining.

On the lob into the paint from underneath the basket, Adrian was able to swat the ball toward midcourt to end the game.

"I'll take the win," Morgantown coach Tom Yester said, breathing a sigh of relief after the game,

"We held on, but we didn't play well. I don't know, we had what, 100 turnovers? It was at least 20, maybe 30. They battled hard, and we knew they would. It wasn't a lack of effort on our part, just incorrect effort."

Washington fell behind 13 early, scoring just four points in the first quarter, its first basket coming at the 3:18 mark.

The Patriots turned up the intensity in the second, and used a huge run, and the lack of a Mohigan field goal in the final five minutes of the seconds, to take a 24-19 halftime lead.

But the third produced a mirror image of the third, when Washington scored just three points, the lone field goal by Newman with 2:48 left in the quarter.

"The bottom line is you have to put together four quarters and we didn't do that," Washington coach Don Bullett said. "You can't have periods like that. We need to put four quarters together."

Newman led the Patriots with 15 points. Smith and Jones had 11 points each.

Austin Agnew had 14 for Morgantown and Mark Johnson 11.

The Mohigans face Martinsburg today at 6 p.m.

"We played them three times in the summer," Yester said. "If we don't play better than we did tonight they will beat us by 30."