The Dominion Post  

Boys’ basketball: MHS dismisses any notion of ‘down’ year

Created on:   Fri, Dec 1, 2017   12:23 AM

Last modified:   Fri, Dec 1, 2017   12:22 AM

The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — After losing four seniors to collegiate programs from a 2015-’16 undefeated state champion squad, the Morgantown High boys’ basketball team wasn’t expected to produce a spectacular season.

The Mohigans proved that theory wrong, making a run to the state semifinals, where they lost to No. 1 Capital by one point.

MHS lost some serious talent from last season’s unit as well, but head coach David Tallman doesn’t expect a lot to change.

“We’re going to do what we do,” he said. “We’re a team that likes to play great defense, and that’s what we work on the majority of the time, so we’ll continue to do what we do defensively. Our defense has always been very pressurized, and that’s not going to change.”

For the Mohigans, however, the biggest challenge will be on the offensive end of the court. The two leading scorers from last year’s team were lost to graduation.

“Offensively, we’re going to have to have guys rise to the occasion and have guys step up and be scorers for us,” Tallman said. “It’s going to come down to who steps up for us.”

However, with his style of press defense and fast-break offense, Tallman isn’t expecting a drop-off in offensive production.

“It’s going to be an exciting brand of basketball,” he said. “We’re going to try and get the ball up and down the floor and try to play in the 80s, 90s and 100s this year.”

Tallman said a talented senior class will lead the Mohigans’ attack, and he expects a high level of play from that group.

“We’ve got three good seniors who have good leadership in Drew Selders, Jayron Wilson and Rance Blakney,” Tallman said. “They’re working hard in practice, and it’s going well.”

Despite the doubts the Mohigans may not be at the level they were during the last two seasons, Tallman and his athletes insist they’re just as talented.

“We’re not rebuilding. We’re reloading. We’ve got a lot of athletes, and we’re very deep,” Tallman said.

“I think we’ve got a good group, and the goal is to get back to the state tournament. We’ve got guys who worked hard in the offseason, guys that are committed and guys that deserve to win.”

Tallman’s players share their coach’s sentiments, dismissing the idea that they’re poised for a weak season.

“Everyone thinks it’s going to be a down year, but our team has come a long way and I think we’re going to make a run,” Wilson said.

Wilson’s teammates think Morgantown is likely to turn some heads this season. “They think it’s a down year, but we’re coming strong,” Blakney said.

MHS open its season Dec. 8, hosting Preston at 7:30 p.m.