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Back like he never left: Garrison Kisner’s return to Morgantown High

MORGANTOWN – MHS senior Garrison Kisner has returned to play for Dave Tallman and the Mohigans, and the West Liberty commit has seamlessly transitioned back into the team to round-out the roster this year.

Kisner transferred back to MHS after spending a year playing for Joe Schmidle at University last season and the 6-foot-8 big-man says that it’s felt as though he never left as he’s known many of his teammates and peers most of his life.

“Transitioning back to MHS wasn’t hard at all,” Kisner said. “The hardest part is relearning their style of play and my role in that. My role is definitely different, but in a good way. We have a whole team that can score from all levels and everyone is a threat.”

As the reigning state champions, you could guess that the Mohigans already had a talented roster before the addition of Kisner, which has allowed him to focus more on producing off-the-ball as opposed to being the main source of offense as was often the case at UHS.

Leadership is also something Kisner brings to the table as a senior.

“Garrison is a great young man,” MHS head coach Dave Tallman said. “He’s been friends with our guys for a long, long time. They all grew up together and went to school together so he’s been a great addition to our locker room.”

A minor injury in the offseason hindered Kisner’s conditioning for a short time, and Tallman says he may not even be up to full-speed yet.

“His size obviously gives many teams matchup problems,” Tallman said. “He’s also skilled and can step out and play on the outside some. He’s also able to guard on the perimeter which is huge defensively. He’s still playing his way into shape, but once he does he will be a force to be reckoned with.”

A second-straight state title for MHS would give Kisner his first, and would cap off his senior season in dream-like fashion. In Garrison’s opinion, when his team is clicking on all cylinders, they’re nearly unbeatable.

“This team helps me develop in many ways. We are a team, when we play as one we can’t be beat in my opinion,” he said. “I feel like they push for greatness not just average. Coach Tallman has really helped me get into physical shape and become stronger. The two areas I want to improve on are knowing my role on the team and doing it the best I can and also to run the court, not just get up down but really push myself down the court.”

Now, eight games into the season, Kisner has helped MHS to a 7-1 start, including some big wins last week in Tennessee against out-of-state competition.

While Garrison’s decision to transfer back to MHS was influenced mostly by basketball, there’s no denial that it’s where he was meant to be all along.

“Off the court has been great, I’m with my friends and surrounded by people who want to play at the next level. It’s been a great experience so far and these guys love the gym. I’m where I belong,” Kisner said.

“I’m home.”

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