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UHS boys win home finale, 62-40, over Musselman

MORGANTOWN — The University boys basketball team entered last night’s final regular-season home game against Musselman winners of six straight, and the Hawks wanted nothing more than to keep the good times rolling against the Applemen, the team they beat 66-57 on January 31 to launch the streak. 

And while they certainly didn’t produce a perfect performance, UHS utilized their usual formula of balanced, efficient scoring and tenacious defense to steadily throttle Musselman to win it going away, 62-40.   

The Hawks (13-8), as they have throughout their winning month, once again shot the ball well when popping open for jumpers out of their half-court sets in the first half, canning five (of their game total of six) three-pointers in the first half. The Applemen (10-10) took advantage of their length on the boards plus a few UHS defensive breakdowns to keep the Hawks’ lead within single digits for most of the second quarter after trailing 21-13 after the first quarter. In fact, it wasn’t until Luke Hudson scooped up a deflected pass and canned an off-balance bank shot from the left key at the first-half buzzer that University posted their first double-digit lead of the night, 33-22.  

The Hawks scored four quick points to begin the second half, but MHS continued to hang around for most of the third quarter and had whittled the lead to a dozen points with a chance to get back within 10. But two straight UHS steals and transition lay-ups plus a killer triple from Rafael Barcinas late in the quarter boosted the lead back up to 50-31, and the starch all but left the Applemen after that. 

James Fortney-Garbart’s mid-range jumper was deadly all night, and his 20 points led all scorers. Barcinas stalked a triple-double again, finishing with 15 points, six assists and seven boards from the point guard position, and sophomore Demarcus Bandy attacked the rim all night on his way to a dozen points. For the game, UHS had 18 assists on 27 baskets and only eight turnovers, and shot 56% from the floor, numbers that would please any coach, including the Hawks’ Joe Schmidle.     

“Anytime we get that many assists, it means we are running our offense pretty effectively,” he explained. “Of course, a 2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio is taking good care of the basketball, so we were on point there as well. I wasn’t especially happy with some defensive lapses in the first half, and we didn’t rebound the ball at all in the first quarter, but we continue to share and shoot the ball well. 

“I thought we did a nice job defensively in the second half,” he continued. “We switched between man and zone, and they didn’t adjust to it, and that’s when we turned them over and went on that run late that pretty much put the game away. We’re only giving up 43 points per game during this streak, and that’s the kind of defensive intensity we will need to be successful in the postseason.”  

In the JV match-up, UHS dominated in a 78-57 win. Demarcus Bandy led all scorers with 15, and Ty Jordan-Egnot scored 10 for the Hawks, while Sean Benton’s 13 points paced the Applemen.  

The Hawks close out their regular season on the road at Hurricane Friday night at 7:00 p.m. and then begin the sectional tournament at home against Buckhannon-Upshur next Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.  


University 62, Musselman 40

Musselman   13    9     13     5  –  40 

University      21   12   17    12 –   62 

MUSSELMAN (10-10) — Nathan Whyte 0 2-2 2 Colton Shelton 1 0-1 2 Ashton Kerns 1 0-0 2 Gavin McClain 5 0-0 12 Logan Shelton 1 3-4 5 Jayson Gordon 2 0-2 4 Matthew Mahood 2 0-1 4 Troy Woolaston 4 1-1 9 Totals 16 6-11 40 

UNIVERSITY (13-8) — John Coleman 1 0-0 3 Demarcus Bandy 6 0-0 12 Carson Ford 1 0-0 3 Luke Hudson 4 0-0 9 Rafael Barcinas 6 2-3 15 James Fortney-Garbart 9 0-0 20 Totals 27 2-3 62 

Three-pointers – EHS 2 (McClain 2), UHS 6 (Coleman, Ford, Hudson, Barcinas, Fortney-Garbart 2) 

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