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Morgantown set for state title rematch against Parkersburg South

CHARLESTON — One year later and the scenario is the exact same for the Morgantown boys’ basketball team. 

Just like last season, the Mohigans have made it to the championships of the West Virginia state basketball tournament and, just like last year, the last team standing in their way is the Parkersburg South Patriots.

“Parkersburg South has definitely become a rival who we’ve played a lot over the years,” MHS coach Dave Tallman said. “I’ve got all the respect in the world for their program, they’re a class program and their coaches are great people.” 

The Mohigans knocked off Parkersburg South last season, 56-53, to claim the 2022 Class AAAA state championship and will look to do the same when the game tips off Saturday at 10 a.m. inside the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center.

Morgantown (25-2) has made it to the final round of the tournament behind a stifling defense that has given up just 80 combined points in the first two rounds. MHS punched its ticket to the championship with a dominating 66-41 win over Huntington in Thursday’s semifinals.

Tallman said he’s hoping to get 32 more minutes of good defense out of his team.

“Saturday when we cross those lines, it’s on,” Tallman said. “It’s going to be dog-eat-dog, both teams want to win.”

Parkersburg South (21-6) meanwhile, haze blazed a trail of offense into Saturday, scoring 77 points in the quarterfinal against Hedgesville and 87 in the semifinal against Jefferson.

“Morgantown has always been that thorn in our side,” PS coach Mike Falon said. “It’s not going to be about Morgantown, it’s going to be about us. It’ll be a tough matchup for us, but I think we’ll be a tough matchup for anybody also.”

The Patriots are a fast-paced team that likes to run the floor and let it fly from deep. Against the Highlanders, standout Cyrus Traugh scored 25 points and Austin Reeves had 20 of his own. The Patriots scored 40 points in the paint and 21 off of turnovers.

“They’re a great program, Mike Fallon does a great job with them,” Tallman said. “They’re in back-to-back state championships and they’ve been here quite a bit.”

Though Morgantown has become more of a defense-first team in the second half of the season, the Mohigans began the year with a similar high-flying offensive style as the Patriots have shown this week. And it’s not as if MHS can’t still put the ball in the basket as star guard Sharron Young dropped 25 points against Huntington and Brody Davis has scored 20 points in both tournament games so far.

In addition to last year’s state title game, Morgantown also picked up a victory over the Patriots, 71-59, in a regular-season game in Parkersburg at the beginning of January.

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