Mohigans rebound, take down Knights
King and Co. dominate PHS on the boards
The Dominion Post
Morgantown High center C.J. King didn’t need to be reminded about this past Friday.
When Preston knocked off the MHS boys’ basketball team, 58-56, for the first time in three seasons, the Mohigans were outworked under the basket and blown out on the glass.
King and company in the post took responsibility Wednesday night, and the Mohigans earned convincing revenge, 61-46, against their Region I Section 2 rival, at the Rowdy Center.
Shaun Carden, Thomas Selby and Scottie Core pulled down six rebounds apiece, King and Steven Solomon each tallied five, and the Mohigans (8-7) dominated Preston (10-6) on the boards, 36-22.
“I tried to play off my teammates a little bit, they were feeding me inside, and I was trying to get offensive rebounds and we knew we had to win this game,” said King, who led MHS on the offensive glass with six second-chance points.
“This gives us a better place in sectionals, hopefully, so we can get two home games so we can pretty much have our way to the regional game, so we can make it to states.”
MHS, once a 2-5 team, has now won six of its past eight games. Those victories include two at previously ranked Parkersburg South, one against No. 8-ranked Martinsburg and one each against sectional rivals Preston and University. Three of the four teams had previously beaten MHS, which plays Wheeling Park for the OVAC championship Saturday, at St. Clairsville, Ohio.
“I think we are starting to come together as a team,” King said. “There’s a lot of team bonding going on. We are starting to play good defense, boxing out more. I think we are being patient on offense instead of rushing. Steven is facilitating, Scottie is hitting 3s, he’s on a roll right now, and we are getting open shots.”
Solomon led the Mohigans with 18 points, with 12 in the first quarter to get MHS rolling to an 18-12 lead. Core added 14 points on the night and King chipped in 11.
“We ’ve found depth,” MHS head coach Tom Yester said. “We have more people playing better. The starters are playing with more confidence. Core and Solomon are shooting the ball pretty well. C.J. put the ball in the basket, and Shaun a little bit, too. They are hard to beat, and the big key was to get ahead.”
The Mohigans broke the game open in the second quarter with a 17-6 run, when Preston head coach Barry Sanders took out standout guard Jimmy Galuksy to teach the same lesson MHS learned Friday.
“He didn’t hit the boards, and he wasn’t playing good defense, so I took him out,” Sanders said. “Did he play a lot better defense the second half ? Did he hit the boards?”
He did.
Galusky, the state’s second leading scorer who averages 27.8 points per game, led all scorers with 23 points. He grabbed five steals, improving his state leading average to 4.3, and responded with six of his seven rebounds in the second half.
But while he was gone, Preston had no answer for King, Carden, Core and Selby.
“Coach wanted us to play from inside-out,” King said. “We played inside, and if we didn’t have [a shot] inside, we kicked [the ball] out and we found a lot of mismatches, then when we got it in the post, we finished.”
The Knights, who travel to Spring Mills on Saturday, opened the third quarter with an 8-0 run and played better defense in the second half, but it was too late to stop the rolling Mohigans.
“We didn’t play very good defense at all in the first half,” Sanders said. “The second half we played a lot better defense. We didn’t share the ball like we should’ve, we didn’t rebound the ball like we should’ve. We didn’t do a lot of things right.”
PRESTON (10-6)
Galusky 10 2-6 23, Black 2 0-0 5, Ringer 2 0-0 6, Monroe 1 0-0 2, Lively 1 2-2 4, Vero 1 0-0 2, Murphy 2 0-0 4, Murray 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 4-8 46.
Morgano 1 0-0 2, Solomon 7 2-3 18, Selby 1 0-2 2, Core 4 5-6 14, Carden 2 1-2 5, Melko 0 0-0 0, King 5 1-3 11, McNally 0 1-2 1, Davis 3 2-2 8, Shipley 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 12-20 61.
Preston 12 6 10 18 — 46 Morgantown 18 17 13 13 — 61
3-point goals: Preston 4 (Ringer 2, Black, Galusky). Morgantown 3 (Solomon 2, Core).

Preston’s Jimmy Galusky (left) tries to move the ball around Morgantown’s Antonio Morgano, during Wednesday’s game at the MHS gym. Galusky scored 23 points in his team’s loss.

Bob Gay/The Dominion Post photos
Morgantown’s Shaun Carden (top) stretches for a rebound over Preston’s Aaron Monroe.