Mohigans’ boys roar back to beat Bulldogs
Solomon’s big shot sends game into OT
The Dominion Post
Steven Solomon wouldn’t really have been the goat.
Even if the Morgantown High boys’ basketball team had lost to No.-8 ranked Martinsburg on Saturday night, at the Rowdy Center, Solomon had helped lead Morgantown back from a nine-point deficit with just five minutes to play.
Solomon had already scored seven points, five in the fourth quarter, when he pulled down two huge defensive rebounds, handled the ball against the Bulldogs’ stifling full-court trap press and made a steal for the chance at a go-ahead basket.
But after Solomon snagged a Bulldogs pass with 27 seconds remaining in regulation and the Mohigans trailing, 58-57, he got a little eager trying to find his teammate Scottie Core streaking toward the basket and passed the ball out of bounds.
Martinsburg got the ball back and Juwan Green converted a 1-and-1 to give the Bulldogs a 60-57 lead, with 20.3 seconds remaining.
“I just moved on,” Solmon said. “I don’t think about that play, I just came back and tried to make up for it the next time.”
He definitely did.
Morgantown head coach Tom Yester called a timeout to set up a screen play with center C.J. King to earn Solomon a wide-open 3 on the wing with eight seconds on the clock.
“Coach Yester told me in the huddle, ‘If you’ve got a shot, take it,’ ” Solomon said. “And I’m confident in my abilities, and Jesus helped me too.”
Solomon drained the trey, the Bulldogs raced back down the court and missed a layup, and the Mohigans took all the momentum into overtime.
Morgantown exploded on a 19-8 run in the four-minute period to knock off the Bulldogs, 79-68.
“We needed that,” Yester said. “That was quite the team effort. I was so happy because we went down and hung around, hung around and made a couple things happen.”
Solomon went 7 of 8 from the foul line in overtime to seal the win, and finished the night with 17 points. Shaun Carden also netted 17 points, with nine rebounds, and King scored 12, with nine boards.
King also hit 6 of 8 free throws in overtime, to contribute to MHS’s solid night at the stripe. The Mohigans made 22 of 28 foul shots.
Core added 13 points, and Zakeem Davis scored nine, all in the second half with five to spark the Mohigans’ overtime run.
Martinsburg led, 53-44, with five minutes left in regulation. Then the Mohigans figured out a way to break the Bulldogs’ press.
“We had a ‘big’ ( p l aye r ) taking the ball out at first,” Solomon said, “and coach Yester saw that the middle was wide open, so he moved me to taking the ball out. Then I could cut to the middle and get it and try to create for someone else.”
By the OT, it was the Mohigans’ aggressive defense that flustered the Bulldogs.
Antonio Morgano (seven points) turned in a sparking defensive effort on Jarell Jones, who netted 28 in the Bulldogs’ 61-48 win against the Mohigans in January. Jones scored 19 on Saturday.
“Morgano’s defense — wow ! ” Yester said. “Let me tell you, terrific, because Jones can play. Solomon was big, Core (had) a lot of assists, Carden (a) steady night, and how about King? And Selby, terrific defense. Team effort.”
Freeman 9 3-4 24, Jones 6 7-9 19, Hill 5 2-7 14, Green 1 2-2 4, Villa 2 1-2 7, Lewis 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 15-24 68.
Morgano 3 0-0 7, Solomon 4 8-10 17, Core 5 2-2 13, Carden 7 3-4 17, King 3 6-8 12, Selby 0 0-0 0, McNally 1 0-0 2, Davis 3 3-4 9, Shipley 1 0-0 2, Vac 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 22-28 79.
Martinsburg 16 13 14 17 8 — 68
Morgantown 19 8 13 20 19 — 79
3-point goals: Martinsburg 5 (Freeman 3, Villa 2). Morgantown 3 (Morgano, Solomon, Core).