Defense the key in MHS win over B-U 200

TENNERTON — If Troy Bolton could have witnessed Morgantown’s 55-34 victory at Buckhannon-Upshur on Dec. 18, he would have been proud.

The fictional Disney basketballer, of High School Musical fame, was notable for his solo “Get’cha Head in The Game” during the film. According to Morgantown head coach Dave Tallman, the Mohigans did much better at keeping their head in the game against the Bucaneers than they have so far this season.

“I thought our defense was very good, a lot better,” said Tallman. “We came out with a lot more fire than we did in the first three games.”

The Mohigans (3-1), who led from the start, are still a young squad, reeling from the loss of multiple talented seniors from a Class AAA state semifinalist team. Tallman believes that has showed so far on the season.

“We’re a young team,” he said. “We have guys that are just trying to get their feet wet in varsity basketball.”

The inexperience has shown on offense, as the Mohigans scored under 60 points for the third time in four games.

However, the defensive effort has made up for the struggling shooting game, holding it’s opponents to an average of 40 points on the year so far,

“We’re struggling to put the ball in the basket, but I think that’s something that’s going to come, Tallman said. “Our defense is way ahead of our offense like is usually is this time of year, but eventually we’re going to start putting the ball in the basket.”

The trend so far on the season was no different against the Bucaneers, as the Mohigans opened slow offensively, struggling to a 14-point first period, but holding the Bucaneers to just one field goal and three points.

The game progressed similarly, with the Mohigans missing an abundance of shots but stifling Buckhannon-Upshur with a fiery full-court press, discombobulating the Bucaneers’ offense. Morgantown jumped out to a 26-12 leading headed into halftime.

The third stanza was much of the same for both squads, the Mohigans outscored the Bucs, 12-5. The Mohigans failed to lull the Bucaneer offense in the fourth, though, but it was just too late for a comeback, and Buckhannon-Upshur limped to a a 21-point defeat.

The game was a notable victory for the Mohigans in one way, as it was the second victory over as many teams that feature in their postseason section. With the sectional only featuring three opponents for Morgantown, such performances in the spring could bring yet another regional appearance. However, Tallman was not convinced the performance was indicative of what March will bring for his squad.

“We’ve just got to worry about the next game,” said Tallman. “The sectional is a long way away, and a lot of things can change before then.”

MHS returns to action, at 6 p.m. Thursday, as it hosts Fairmont Senior in the American Homes Holiday Classic.

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

Morgantown 57

John Marshall 35

MOUNDSVILLE — Sydni Clawges scored 16 points and added six rebounds to lead the Mohigans.

The difference came with Morgantown’s defense, which held the Monarchs to just one made free throw in the second quarter and just eight points in the third quarter.

Aliyssa Neal added 13 points for the Mohigans.

MHS (3-2) hosts undefeated Brooke, at 7:30 p.m. today.

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