The Dominion Post  

Morgantown area boys’ teams hit season’s midpoint

Created on:   Thu, Jan 11, 2018   11:16 PM

Last modified:   Thu, Jan 11, 2018   11:16 PM

The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — With the holidays well behind us and January well under way, we approach the midway point of one of my favorite times of the year — high school basketball season.

So far, our region has treated us to exciting finishes, star-studded tournaments, lockdown defense and jaw-dropping offense. Teams in the area have shed the rust and jitters that accompany the opening of the season, and we’re finally getting the lay of the land on who’s for real and who isn’t.

Here, we’ll take a look at how the local squads have fared so far, and what we can expect from them as we race toward Charleston and the state tournament.


University (9-0) ranks No. 1 in the state in the latest AP poll, and for good reason. 2016-’17 all-state selections Kaden Metheny (19 ppg) and Ethan Ridgeway (22 ppg) have made a case why they belong in the conversation for player of the year, leading the scoring charge for a squad that averages 84 points per game. There isn’t much the Hawks cannot do; their defense looks like a farm team for Bob Huggins’ Press Virginia, and they can shoot the lights out of the gym every time they’re in it. They outscore their opponents by a ridiculous 40 points per game, and are favorites heading toward the state tournament.

No. 10 Morgantown (5-4) may have the best defense in the state. The Mohigans give up 38 points per contest, and show no sign of letting off the gas defensively. Head coach Dave Tallman’s real problem is his offense. The Mohigans average a measly 54 ppg, and his squad may have its fair share of trouble come March if it can’t put points on the board. Cam Selders (13 ppg) became a leader for the Mohigans, but unless another offensive weapon or two can step up, Morgantown will struggle in Charleston.

Preston (2-8) needs a turnaround. The Knights struggle on both ends of the floor, and lack a go-to scorer to change the tides of a game. Jake Livengood (11 ppg) is the lone Knight averaging double figures. However, first-year coach Paul Koontz understands that building a contender is a process, and with 12 games left on the year, the Knights are only two wins from besting their total from last season. The future could be bright in Kingwood.


Trinity Christian (6-2) wasn’t receiving much attention to open the season, but the Warriors are now. They went from unranked to No. 6 in the latest polls, and are being talked about as a serious Class A contender. Led by potential all-state selections in Jo Zini (16 ppg) and Daniel Woods (12 ppg), the Warriors are loaded with scorers and are a tough defense to score on.

They are on a two-game losing streak, but their losses were to No. 1 Wheeling Central and No. 3 Notre Dame, and they’ll have a shot at both squads on their home floor later this year. Speaking of their home floor, they have played only one game at home this season, and are six games into a 10-game road swing. They’ve won five games on the road, and it’s hard to imagine what will happen when they have the home-court advantage. If they can fight their way out of one of the toughest regions in Class A, they stand a chance of bringing a state title back to Morgantown.

Clay-Battelle (2-4) is off to a slow start, but if coach Josh Kisner gets his squad clicking, it could be a dark horse come March. The Cee-Bees pack a punch with the most dynamic duo this side of University’s Metheny and Ridgeway, with Gunner Brummage (17 ppg) and Seth Casino (15 ppg) leading the charge. Brummage and Casino have the ability to drop 25 points in any given game, with Casino able to do it from nearly anywhere on the floor.

The Cee-Bees are an inexperienced team with just two seniors and still struggle with team chemistry and rookie mistakes. However, if the boys from Blacksville can pull it together, their opponents would do well not to underestimate the Cee-Bees.