Back for more: MHS advances to title game again
Mohigans beat South for third-straight finals appearance
BY TODD MURRAY The Dominion Post

CHARLESTON — Morgantown High’s girls’ basketball team will play in the Class AAA state championship game for the third consecutive year.
The third-seeded Mohigans upset No. 2 Parkersburg South, 67-63, in overtime Friday night in a semifinal game at the Charleston Civic Center.
The loss avenged two regularseason defeats to Parkersburg South and helped ease some of the pain from last season’s loss to the Patriots in the title game.
MHS (21-4), which won its last state title in 2005, meets top-seeded Huntington High (23-2), a 66-57 winner over East Fairmont in the other Class AAA semifinal, today at 7:15 p.m.
MHS coach Allan Collins triumphantly raised both arms in celebration as the final seconds ticked off the clock Friday night.
A pair of seniors played key roles for the Mohigans Friday. Tiaa Ferrebee scored 18 points and Tara Napolillo added 13 before fouling out in overtime. Sophomore Stephanie Michael scored 12 of her 19 points in the first half.
Sophomore Brooke Andrews, who played almost the entire game at center, finished with seven points. Andrews made two critical free throws with 52.9 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 54.
The game eventually wound up in overtime when Parkersburg South could not get a shot off before time expired.
MHS started strong in the overtime by scoring the first six points. Napolillo hit a pair of free throws. Michael scored on a layup off a steal, and Teisha Prim sank a shot from the corner to put MHS on top, 60-54.
Alisyn Morris’ 3-point play helped the Patriots close within three, but that was as close as Parkersburg South would come. MHS made 5-of-8 free throws in the final 2:20 to hold off the Patriots and advance to the finals.
Parkersburg South broke out to a seven-point lead early in the fourth quarter thanks to a 3-pointer from Danielle Floyd and a Floyd basket off an MHS turnover.
The Mohigans answered with six points of their own to snare a 48-47 lead. The game continued in see-saw fashion. Parkersburg South would score and the Mohigans would answer. Andrews’ free throws in the final minute sent the game into overtime.
The third quarter was close throughout. The biggest lead either team could muster was a mere three points. Parkersburg South accomplished that when Morris hit a 3-pointer for a 33-30 Patriots lead early in the quarter.
Ferrebee hit two 3s for the Mohigans, and her second trey gave MHS a 36-35 lead. The Patriots ended the quarter with a 42-40 advantage as Phillips converted a threepoint play with 29.5 seconds left.
The first half turned into a 3-point shooting contest. The Mohigans sank seven treys and Parkersburg South finished with three. Michael’s 12 first-half points came courtesy of four 3-pointers.
MHS made 7-of-15 3-pointers (46.7 percent) in the first half, and Parkersburg South sank 4-of-9 from beyond the arc (44.4 percent). The Mohigans weren’t as sharp with their other shots and finished the half shooting 31 percent overall to Parkersburg South’s 47.1 percent.
The action became sloppy at times. Parkersburg South committed 14 turnovers in the first half, and the Mohigans committed 10. Both teams scored 10 points off turnovers.
MHS outrebounded the Patriots, 18-16, and scored eight second-chance points to Parkersburg South’s two.
Ferrebee made a 3-pointer on the game’s first shot, and fittingly enough Parkersburg South’s Alisyn Morris drilled a 3-pointer from deep in the left corner just before the first-half buzzer sounded to tie the score at 30.
Parkersburg South built a seven-point lead in the first quarter as Taylor Phillips hit two 3s. The Mohigans cut into the deficit by quarter’s end and trailed 15-10.
The Patriots notched the first five points of the second quarter to open up their biggest lead of the half, 20-10, after Kimberly Stephens scored inside with 6:14 remaining.
Again, MHS used the 3-point shot to claw its way back. Michael hit a trey in a 7-0 spree that turned a 25-23 deficit into a 30-35 lead with 1:31 to play in the half.
However, Parkersburg South closed out the half on a 5-0 run of its own to tie the score just before the buzzer on the Morris 3.

AP photo
Morgantown's Tara Napolillo, left, and Parkersburg South's Danielle Floyd race for a loose ball during the semifinals of the Class AAA girls basketball state tournament, Friday.