MHS boys’ comeback comes up short 1/5/2013
The Dominion Post
PITTSBURGH — An early double-digit deficit and empty 3-point shooting cost Morgantown High a 49-46 loss to undefeated Obama Academy on Saturday.
The Mohigans (2-3) fell behind, 13-0, and trailed, 16-6, after a quarter.
“We had nine turnovers in the first quarter,” MHS coach Tom Yester explained. “We come out looking like a deer in the headlights.”
After that, though, the Mohigans got back into the game, and even had a chance to win at the end. Down, 47-46, the Mohigans missed a free throw, but grabbed the rebound and had a shot to go ahead. But the shot missed, and Obama converted a basket at the other end for the final score.
“We had our chance and couldn’t pull it off,” Ye s t e r said, “but we were inconsistent. We played a little bit scared until we finally settled down.”
The Mohigans shot well from the floor, going 21-for-44 overall, but were 0-for-10 on 3-pointers.
“That’s bad,” Ye s t e r said. “It probably was the difference in the game, we couldn’t knock anything down. We also had 16 turnovers in the first half, we put ourselves in a bad situation, but still had chance to win. We’ve got a lot to learn, we’re young and we’re going through some growing pains.”
Thomas Selby netted
points with four rebounds for MHS, and Elvin McNalley had 12 points and five boards. Steven Solomon contributed four assists, and Tyler Shipley had four steals off the bench.
D.J. Porter scored 13 points and James Taylor 12 for Obama Academy.
Morgantown plays host to Preston on Monday.
Jones 3 0-2 6, Porter 4 4-9 13, Hord 1 0-0 2, Taylor 5 0-0 12, Bryant 1 0-0 3, Noel 2 0-0 4, Marcus 4 1-2 9, Eddie 0 0-2 0. Totals 20 5-14 49.
Morgano 0 0-0 0, Solomon 3 0-0 6, Shaw 0 0-2 0, Shipley 0 0-0 0, Davis 0 0-0 0, Vac 1 0-0 2, Melko 3 0-0 6, Selby 5 4-5 14, Core 1 0-0 2, McNally 6 0-0 12, Carden 2 0-0 4. Totals 21 4-7 46.
Obama Academy 16 15 11 6 — 49 Morgantown 6 17 14 9 — 46
3-point goals; Obama 4 (Taylor 2, Porter 1, Bryant 1), MHS 0.

Mohigans’ boys top rival Hawks
The Dominion Post
Tom Yester introduced a packed University High gymnasium to a brand new Morgantown High basketball team Friday night.
Though he said he would be a bit more critical by the next morning’s practice, the Morgantown High head coach was pleased as punch to open the season with a 70-62 victory against crosstown rival UHS (1-1).
“I’m pretty proud,” Yester said. “We had no starters back. [The Hawks] already had a game under their belt, beating a good team in Preston, and we beat them on their home court. We used our depth, and we had a lot of kids do a lot of really good stuff.”
Replacing six seniors, including current WVU forward Nathan Adrian, MHS debuted five new starters, all of whom saw limited varsity action last season.
Yet 10 Mohigans scored and three of them reached double figures.
It was Zakeem Davis, just three days cleared from a broken ankle, who appeared to have the game-changing performance.
The junior guard nailed a 3 to tie the game, 42-42, midway through the third quarter. He quickly hit his only other bucket, giving MHS its first lead, 46-45, since the first minute of play.
However, it was his defensive battle with UHS point guard Tevin Dixon that really gave the Mohigans a spark.
“Davis did a really good job with Tevin in the second half,” Ye s t e r pointed out. “He’s 5-8 and Davis is 6-2, 6-3, and he’s pretty quick. Maybe not quite as quick as Tev, but it bothered him a little bit.”
Dixon netted a game-high 27 points, but had just nine in the second half, when Davis began face-guarding him.
“Our team is pretty good, but [Dixon] is really good,” Davis said. “I had to go in and do what I do, but I respect him as a player. It was pretty tough. He was hitting me, I was hitting him back. We were congratulating each other here and there.”
Point guard Steven Solomon paced MHS with 17 points, with an impressive string of 13 in the first quarter to keep MHS in the game as the hot Hawks leaped to a 24-18 lead.
“In moments, Solomon really played well,” Yester said. “He’s gotta even it out, but he’s only a sophomore, remember.”
By halftime, UHS held just a 35-33 lead, as MHS went to a zone defense and slowed the Hawks’ pace offensively, taking away their speed advantage.
“Then Kenzie Melko stepped up in the second half and knocked down a couple 3s,” Yester said.
The sophomore, who tallied 11 on the night, hit two of them to close the second quarter and another in the third, and MHS was in business with a 51-47 lead.
Forward Scott Core was forced to the bench for much of the first half, after earning two quick fouls, but he poured in eight of his 14 points in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
Meanwhile, UHS went cold from the field.
“We just got rushed,” UHS head coach Paul Ingle said. “There were some halfcourt sets where we just didn’t get into anything. I think in the end, their size a little bit hurt us. As we got deeper in the game, the legs started getting a little tired in some of the rebounding and the missed shots.”
Core, Shaun Cardin and Elvin Mc-Nally combined for some nice power moves under the basket and out-rebounded the Hawks in the second half.
“I thought Core played real well. McNally did a couple good things around the bucket, and Carden,” Yester said.
“We had a lot of people do a lot of nice stuff. That’s what we are looking for. To try to wear teams down a little bit. Probably different nights you will see all different people do different things.”
Solomon 7 2-3 17, Vac 0 0-0 0, Selby 1 2-2 4, Core 5 4-6 14, Carden 3 0-0 6, Melko 4 0-0 11, Goldsmith 0 3-5 3, McNally 2 0-0 4, Davis 2 0-2 5, 1 0-0 3, Morgano 1 0-0 3. Totals 26 11-18 70.
Dixon 9 3-8 27, Leftridge 4 0-0 8, Mitchell 2 0-0 5 Gutmann 2 4-6 9, Warner 3 0-0 7, Martin 2 0-0 4, Eckels 0 0-0 0, Ridgeway 1 0-0 2, Turner 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 7-14 62.
Morgantown 18 15 18 19 — 70 University 24 11 12 15 — 62
3-point goals: Morgantown 7 (Melko 3, Shipley, Morgano, Davis, Solomon). University 9 (Dixon 6, Mitchell, Gutmann, Warner).

Chelsi Baker/The Dominion Post
MHS’s Elvin McNally passes
around UHS defender B.J. Warner.

Chelsi Baker/The Dominion Post
UHS’s Grant Gutmann drives against MHS’s Kenzie Melko.

Chelsi Baker/The Dominion Post
University’s Jeffrey Leftridge charges through Morgantown defense for a layup Friday.

University’s Jeffrey Leftridge looks to pass.