MORGANTOWN — The Morgantown High School boys’ basketball team has captured the last two state championships in Class AAAA and is beginning this season with its eye on nothing other than returning to Charleston in March and completing the three-peat.
Despite a highly impactful senior class moving on that played a crucial part in the back-to-back championships, coach Dave Tallman and the Mohigans return a backcourt duo that includes senior first-team all-state selection and Akron-signee, Sharron Young and junior Izzy Everett, who both played crucial roles in the success of last season.
Young, the all-state first-team captain, averaged 21 points, 7.9 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 4.7 steals per game last season, while missing eight games with a broken shooting hand.
Tallman said no matter how long one coaches, or who returns, every year is different.
“We’ve got to figure out how to maximize our talent,” Tallman said. “We have a good standard of what we like to do but we also try to tweak things to make sure we are playing to our strengths.”
One strength will be the guards for Tallman and his club. Young and Everett both return after playing crucial roles last season. Other guards like Jay Shrewsberry and Marty Johnson, who also have experience playing in big games, will be looked upon to support their teammates.
A possible question mark for the Mohigans will be the frontcourt. The losses of Garrison Kisner and Cam Danser will be felt right away, but Tallman and his staff have confidence in the players who are ready to step up into the roles.
“Our guard play is good and has a chance to be special this season,” Tallman said. “But I feel the same about our frontcourt. Jacob King (6’6), Brady Savage (6’3), Jaylon Hill (6’1), and Waylon Calistra (6’6) are doing a great job in practice and will continue to make strides. They’re all full of talent.”
MHS remains unbeaten within the state of West Virginia with 45 straight wins against teams from W.Va. and 36 straight wins at home.
Morgantown will begin its season Tuesday at home against Greater Latrobe (Pa.), before traveling across town for the BFS Shootout at University High School this weekend for two games against Holy Family (Pa.) and Parkersburg. Contests against teams like Shady Spring, George Washington, Parkersburg South, and University highlight some early matchups for MHS. A road trip to Ripley is also in the plans on Jan. 27, and two matchups with Wheeling Park wait in the distance.
“We want to go and play the schedule that will challenge you the most,” Tallman said. “I also want to get our seniors seen all over the state because they deserve recognition. I think that’s important, we don’t just want to play regionally.”