Mistakes sink Mohigans’ boys
Patriots hold off MHS comeback down the stretch
The Dominion Post
After a first half of boys’ basketball that featured three ties and seven lead changes, with Morgantown’s largest advantage at four points and Parkersburg South’s at three, something was bound to give.
Turned out, the Patriots were on the receiving end in a 55-49 victory, as the Mohigans handed the ball over.
Parkersburg South sneaked a 24-21 lead into the locker room at MHS’s Rowdy Center, but seized control of the second half immediately, with an aggressive, full-court press.
The defensive intensity resulted in four MHS turnovers that all led directly to Patriots points during a two-minute, 9-0 run for a 33-21 lead.
“We threw it to them,” MHS head coach Tom Yester said. “It was just a lousy, soft start. There is no excuse. We threw the ball away. And on top. I can’t defend turnovers, especially on top. That’s just our own fault and we are still searching for who can play an entire game and play it efficiently. We did not do that.”
The Patriots (8-0) forced seven MHS turnovers in the third quarter and 21 on the night.
“Defense, that is the one thing we’ve really stressed this year with our kids,” Parkersburg South head coach Mike Fallon said. “With this group, for us to get to where we need to be, I think the defensive end is where we have to have it.”
Parkersburg South forward Logan Lawrentz poured in 18 points, including seven in the fourth quarter. He converted 9 of 12 free throws on the night, including his final four in the last 40 seconds of a 51-49 game to seal the win.
“Logan is a senior and he’s one of those kids who played a little bit for us last year, worked his butt off all summer and now it’s his time,” Fallon said. “He’s really taken that role and become a leader for us.”
It came after MHS fought back from a 50-41 deficit with four minutes to play.
MHS point guard Steven Solomon made a free throw, then grabbed a steal and laid in the breakaway layup to cut it to a one possession game, 51-49, with 1:06 remaining.
After Lawrentz hit two free throws, MHS missed two from the line but grabbed the rebound with 26.2 seconds left.
Yester called a timeout and the Mohigans earned a wide-open 3, but it fell just short. The layup on the Mohigans’ offensive rebound bounced out, too. Lawrentz hit the final two free throws with 10 seconds to play.
MHS simply missed too many opportunities all night.
“The missed layups. My goodness, gracious,” Ye s t e r lamented. “Great job rebounding two or three times, can’t put it back in. Breakaway layup, miss. At least one other one. And we charged on one. So we had all these opportunities, and that’s what young teams do. They press a little bit, they get a little nervous. And then we missed our foul shots right at the end too. There were all kinds of chances.”
Scottie Core and Shaun Carden netted nine points apiece for MHS. Solomon added eight.
The Patriots had three scorers in double figures, as Cody Monroe added 13 and J.R. Kerr 10.
However, the Mohigans, who travel to Wheeling Park on Monday, held Parkersburg South well below its scoring average of 76 points per game.
“Defense was decent. That was 21 below their average, so I was a little happier with that,” Yester said. “I saw a good effort, we worked hard. I saw some bright spots in there. Shaun Carden had a real nice ball game and Solomon taking the ball to the basket. We tried to get Zakeem (Davis) to take the ball to the basket and he did. And good effort by Thomas (Selby) and Elvin (McNally). Just those silly turnovers and inability to take advantage of those offensive opportunities.”
Dobson 1 0-0 3, Monroe 4 5-5 13, Kerr 4 1-2 10, Lawrentz 4 9-12 18, Rippeto 1 0-0 3, Berry 1 2-2 4, Gilkeson 2 0-0 4, Fryfogle 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 17-21 55.
Solomon 3 2-4 8, Shipley 1 0-0 3, Selby 2 0-0 4, Core 4 0-2 9, McNally 3 0-0 7, Carden 3 3-3 9, Davis 0 0-0 0, Melko 1 0-0 3, Vac 2 1-2 6, Morgano 0 0-0 0, Shaw 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 6-11 49.
Parkersburg South 11 13 13 18 — 55 Morgantown 13 8 15 13 — 49
3-point goals: Parkersburg South 4 (Dobson, Kerr, Lawrentz, Rippeto). Morgantown 5 (Shipley, Core, McNally, Melko, Vac).

Ron Rittenhouse/The Dominion Post
MHS’s Scottie Core drives around (2) Garrett Gilkeson, of Parkersburg South, in their game Friday.

Ron Rittenhouse/The Dominion Post
Morgantown High’s Steven Solomon dishes a pass around Tyler Berry (42), of Parkersburg South, in first-half action in Morgantown on Friday.