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Prep hoops invade Morgantown this weekend as TCS, UHS host tourneys

MORGANTOWN — With the beginning of the 2022-23 prep basketball season kicking off for both boys and girls last week, excitement is at its peak, as many teams across the state will use the coming weeks of the holiday season to travel to play games out-of-town.

This weekend, University High School and Trinity Christian will each be the site of a shootout that welcomes teams from many different sections and regions across WV.

To open the weekend at the all-girls Vision Homes Invitational on Friday at TCS, two local middle school teams in Mountaineer Middle and Trinity Christian will tip off during school hours at 1:00 p.m.

Trinity girls’ head coach Mike Baldy said that after working to prepare for this weekend for around a year now, seeing it come together is the cherry on top.

“We’re thrilled. Codey Horton (TCS AD) and I have been working on this for a while now,” Baldy said. “We’ve had a lot of great people involved. Vision Homes stepped up big-time, Compass Realty stepped up big-time, Euro-Suites (Hotel) stepped up big-time. The school’s given us free rein and said ‘let’s do this.’ We’re starting during the school day so I’m grateful to the school for allowing us to do that.”

The field includes 10 teams that include multiple top-10 teams in Class AA. Along with teams like Charleston Catholic, Webster County, and Buckhannon-Upshur, there is also No. 7-ranked Frankfort, who TCS lost to for a trip to the state tournament last season. The top-ranked Wyoming East Warriors will also pay a visit.

Baldy and his team will take on Charleston Catholic Friday at 7:30 p.m. before turning around to play Ravenswood at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday.

“It’s a need for girls’ basketball in this area to have a showcase tournament,” Baldy said. “Morgantown High for years has had good showcases for boys’ basketball. We have some great, great players coming up here from Wyoming East and Parkersburg, Ravenswood and the best one might be Sydney Baird from Webster. It is a legitimate showcase — we sought out good players and good teams. We couldn’t have done it without the sponsors because they’re paying for the hotels.

“I love doing damage control all day, shaking hands, giving people you haven’t seen in a long time hugs. So I’m excited for that part of it also.”

Across town at UHS, boys and girls teams will play across the two-day span of Friday/Saturday. The advantage of having two gyms with regulation courts will allow not only the varsity teams to play, but also the JV and some freshman teams.

The eight-team shootout (four boys teams, four girls teams) will include both teams from each UHS and MHS, with the boys being joined by in-state teams Hurricane and Washington. On the girls’ side, Pennsylvania state runner-up Kennedy Catholic and Albert-Gallatin (Pa.) will visit.

While the Hawks and Mohigans won’t see each other on the court this weekend, both the boys’ and girls’ teams for each school are facing two quality opponents.

The two head coaches at UHS, Nick Lusk (girls) and Joe Schmidle (boys) both are grateful for the opportunity to host this type of event. They each emphasized being able to play in a tournament setting at home.

“We have been wanting to host something like this for a long time,” Schmidle said. “We have been traveling all over the place for years and we’re ready to stay in Morgantown for some good competition. We will see teams that we typically don’t get to play also. Hurricane is very athletic and has some new guys that can make an impact, and with a team like Washington from the eastern panhandle, we don’t have much of a scout on them, so it’s a good test.”

Lusk and the Hawks’ girls team are familiar with Kennedy as they played over the summer, but for Albert-Gallatin, Lusk says it will be a new test.

“Being able to have two quality opponents from out-of-state at home is fantastic,” he said. “Both teams have a lot of talent and while I don’t have film on Albert-Gallatin, we played Kennedy Catholic a few times in the summer and they’re a really talented team with great size and a good inside game. It’ll be a big challenge for our guard-oriented team.”

For head coach Dave Tallman and the top-ranked MHS boys, getting a chance to stay close to home for a competitive shootout is a huge plus.

“We love the opportunity to stay in Morgantown and get two ‘away’ games in our city,” Tallman said. “We appreciate the invite and look forward to going against some new competition. We’ve beat up on each other in practice for about a month so it’s time to play someone else.”

The MHS boys will play Friday against Washington at 7 p.m., then face off with Hurricane Saturday at 8:30 p.m.

First-year head coach Doug Goodwin and the No. 1 MHS girls will also play both Pennsylvania schools and are looking forward to seeing different opponents as well.

“We have great support in our community for high school athletics and we hope to not disappoint those in attendance,” Goodwin said. “This provides us a great opportunity to get better against out-of-state teams. Kennedy Catholic was state runner-up in their class for Pa. and will be a good match-up for us on Friday. We will take it one game at a time.”

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Vision Homes Invitational at Trinity Christian


1 p.m. Mountaineer Middle vs. Trinity Middle

2:15 p.m. Hampshire vs. Parkersburg

4 p.m. Summers vs. Frankfort

5:45 p.m. Ritchie vs. Wyoming East

7:30 p.m. Charleston Catholic vs. Trinity

9:15 p.m. Webster vs. Ravenswood


11 a.m. Summers vs. Hampshire

12:45 p.m. Buckhannon-Upshur vs. Parkersburg

2:30 p.m. Frankfort vs. Wyoming East

4:15 p.m. Charleston Catholic vs. Webster

6 p.m. Trinity vs. Ravenswood

BFS Tip-Off Classic at University


4 p.m. University vs. Albert-Gallatin (girls)

5:30 p.m. Morgantown vs. Kennedy Catholic (girls)

7 p.m. Morgantown vs. Washington (boys)

8:30 p.m. University vs. Hurricane (boys)


Noon Albert-Gallatin vs. Morgantown (girls)

1:30 p.m. Kennedy Catholic vs. University (girls)

3 p.m. Hurricane vs. Morgantown (boys)

4:30 p.m. Washington vs. University (boys)