Local Sports, Morgantown, Sports

Morgantown girls poised to defend state title despite turnover

MORGANTOWN — The Morgantown girls basketball team enters the 2023-23 season as the defending state champions in Class AAAA. Despite losing a senior class of six players who helped lead the Mohigans to two straight state final appearances, head coach Doug Goodwin returns two all-state selections from last year and has also added some key pieces that will make MHS one of the teams to beat.

MHS went 21-5 on its way to the Class AAAA state championship in Goodwin’s first year as head coach and but he said the approach to the opening of the year doesn’t feel that different.

“I wouldn’t say there has been that much difference between starting this year and last,” he said. “I definitely feel a bit more settled. Our offseason work has let us hit the ground running. The approval of 32 flex days helped tremendously. This year’s team began working together over the three week period and have been a pleasure to coach already.”

Two returning all-state selections return for MHS in second-team guard Sofia Wassick and first-team forward Lily Jordan will lead the way for Goodwin and his club on their way to Charleston and back into the state championship game.

“Last season was a tremendous accomplishment. To send those six seniors out as State Champions, what a great achievement on their part,” Goodwin said. “That being said, the four seniors on this year’s team have the same goals in mind.”

Jordan averaged 14.3 points and grabbed 6.6 rebounds per contest on her way to the first-team spot last season it won’t be shocking to see her bump those numbers up slightly after a strong junior campaign.

She will be aided in the rebounding department and guarding in the post by returning junior Sadaya Jones, who spent her freshman year at Morgantown before transferring to Fairmont Senior for her sophomore season. Jones returns to open arms at MHS and is sure to give a much-needed boost for the defending state champions underneath on both ends of the floor, while also being able to stretch the floor on the perimeter.

“Sadaya’s transition back to this team has been seamless. She is such a team player and hard worker. It is great to have her back,” Goodwin said. “We have some new faces to the landscape and this will certainly help fill the void left by last year’s group.”

Also joining the Mohigans this year will be Kayli Kellogg, daughter or first-year WVU women’s basketball head coach Mark Kellogg.

Morgantown will begin its 2023-24 campaign on Nov. 30th at home against Bridgeport. An early season test awaits MHS in the first of two MoHawk matchups as a trip to Baker’s Ridge to visit University High comes in the second game on December 6th.

MHS will host Wheeling Park on December 19th and then visit the Patriots a month later on January 23rd in rematches of last season’s state championship, won by MHS.

“We have done our best to make the schedule as competitive as possible. We try to schedule as many state tournament teams that we can,” Goodwin said. “This is not only in WV, but PA, and Kentucky as well. Almost a quarter of our schedule is either a state champ, state runner up, or have gone deep in their tournament.

“Obviously we would like to get back to the state tournament and have another opportunity at a state title. For now though, we need to stay humble, work hard and stay productive throughout the season. Our main focus is to be better each day.”