MORGANTOWN — What was a 25-25 game at halftime ended up as a 65-45 Morgantown win as the Mohigans pulled away from rival University in the second half Friday night on Bakers Ridge.
MHS junior ShaRon Young scored a game-high 32 points to pace the top-ranked Mohigans (11-1) as they beat their cross-town rivals for the second time this season.
“He works harder than anybody that’s out there,” MHS coach Dave Tallman said of Young. “He’s just a special kid and I can brag about him because I know he’s going to be in the gym tomorrow working on his craft. He’s a kid that never takes a day off.”
Young scored 11 of his points in the third quarter when the Mohigans outscored their hosts 20-11 as they began to pull away.
University (6-5) had the game tied at halftime thanks to a motion offense that gave the Mohigan defense fits in the first half. After the break, however, Morgantown pressured the ball more aggressively and took away some of the success the Hawks were finding.
“Morgantown did a good job of taking us out of what we wanted to do,” UHS coach Joe Schmidle said. “They sped us up a little bit and played a little more aggressively…The patience we showed in the first half was really helping us get going and take really good shots and we just didn’t carry that over into the second half.”
The Hawks were led by junior point guard Rafael Barcinas, whose ball-handling and driving skills were on full display. Barcinas scored 12 of his team-high 16 points before halftime, but was held scoreless in the third and had just four points in the fourth.
“You don’t make shots, you don’t put points up against a team like that and you’re not going to win,” Schmidle said. “We rushed and we can’t do that. We’re not a team loaded with superstars, we’ve got to let the offense work. We’ve got to get shots within our offense instead of trying to create shots.”
After scoring 25 points in the first half, the Mohigans poured in 20 in both the third and fourth quarters while holding UHS to half as many.
“In the first half, our help defense was terrible, our ball pressure was terrible,” Tallman said. “I don’t know why, but we came out like we had never played basketball before.
“In the second half, we came out and actually acted like we play for Morgantown High. We pressured the ball, had great help, rebounded the ball, executed on offense and ShaRon Young put on a show.”
Along with Young’s 32 points, MHS got 10 points apiece from Garrison Kisner and Brody Davis and six apiece from Jacob King and Izzy Everett.
“What I love about our team is, we’re not a two-man show,” Tallman said. “If Brody has an off night or Cam (Danser) or Garrison has an off night, we have horses in the stable who can come out and are pretty god thoroughbreds themselves. Jacob was awesome on defense and hit a couple of open shots for us and I thought Izzy Everett gave us a good effort too.”
MHS hit 10 3-pointers in the game, led by three from Young. King, Davis and Everett hit two each.
For University, Friday’s game was a clear improvement from the first time the teams met, a 83-55 MHS win at the end of December.
“I’m proud of our kids, I thought we played hard the whole game,” Schmidle said. “We’re very young, I don’t have any guys out here that have any varsity experience. It’s taken some time, but they’re getting there.
“We’re halfway through our season after (Friday’s) game and if we improve as much in the second half as we did in the first half, then hopefully we can make something happen in March.”
Barcins led the Hawks with 16 points while Charles Nemecek scored nine and John Coleman had eight. Luke Hudson supplied six on a couple of triples.
University will be back home Tuesday against another tough customer in Parkersburg South while Morgantown will be off until next Saturday with a road game at Martinsburg.
Morgantown 65, University 45
MHS 13 12 20 20 — 65
UHS 12 13 11 9 — 45
Morgantown — King 2 0-0 6; Young 12 5-6 32; Kisner 3 3-4 10; Davis 4 0-0 10; Danser 0 0-2 0; Neal 0 1-4 1; Everett 2 0-2 6.
University — Fortney-Garbart 0 1-2 1; Barcinas 6 4-4 16; Coleman 3 2-2 8; Nemecek 4 0-0 9; Ford 1 0-0 2; Hudson 2 0-0 6; Kleeh 1 0-0 3.
3 Pt. Goals — Morgantown 10 (Young 3, King 2, Davis 2, Everett 2, Kisner 1). University 4 (Huson 2, Nemecek 1, Kleeh 1).