MORGANTOWN — The Morgantown boys’ basketball team will bring back some depth at the Class AAA state basketball tournament.
After losing guard Preston Hartman to injury against Parkersburg on Feb. 20, the senior returned to the hardwood for limited action during the region championship win against John Marshall.
Coach Dave Tallman confirmed Hartman will be full-go as the No. 5 Mohigans tip-off at 11:15 a.m. Thursday against No. 4 Capital at the Charleston Coliseum.
Hartman went down with a strained MCL last month and had to be helped off the court. Initially, there were worries he might not make it back.
“When it first happened, I was more scared than nervous. I had never had an injury like that,” he said.
“It was kind of freaky — I knew something was wrong, something felt off. The waiting was really the worst part.”
When the news broke that Hartman’s injury wasn’t season-ending, Tallman looked forward to working him back into the lineup.
For Morgantown, the return of Hartman means a deeper bench at a point where stamina and toughness means more than ever.
“I could have used him at University [in sectionals]. I was looking down my bench and I was thinking I needed another guard,” Tallman said. “He’s just another piece of the puzzle. He’s a real solid senior leader.”
Hartman is eager to return and contribute as Morgantown looks to avenge a first-round loss in last year’s tournament. MHS last won the state championship in 2016.
“I rehabbed real hard,” he said. “I’ve been telling my teammates I’ve been wanting to come back, and of course it’s my senior season. I’ve just been praying hard.”