Local Sports, Morgantown, Sports

Mohigans set for semifinal match against top-seeded George Washington

CHARLESTON — It’s semi-Friday in Charleston at the 2024 WVSSAC girls’ state basketball tournament and the No. 4 Morgantown Mohigans will battle top-seeded George Washington at 1 p.m. for a spot in Saturday’s Class AAAA state championship game and a chance to defend their 2023 state championship.

The Patriots got past No. 8 Musselman on Tuesday, 59-30. The Mohigans advanced to the semis by defeating No. 5 Greenbrier East, 47-31.

The two sides met in the Par Mar Shootout at W.Va State University a month ago on Feb. 7, a 63-50 victory for GW. It was one of the first games that the Mohigans were without first-team all-state forward Lily Jordan.

MHS head coach Doug Goodwin said his team will need to be physical on defense and limit transition for the Patriots.

“They are an athletic team and move the ball well in the open court; we can’t let them get out and run,” he said. “Our rotations will need to be quick like they needed to be against Greenbrier East and our hands will need to be active at all times.”

Goodwin said his team has grown since then due to the absence of Jordan and believes their mindset is where it should be. 

“We zoned them last time but have figured out our rotations a little better since then,” Goodwin said. “Shooters have to be covered. We have to make sure we contest shots and get rebounds on Friday if we want to be successful.

“Our confidence has grown so much in the last month. Our bench has been helping tremendously when they have the chance to do so and that will continue to be important for us, especially against a team like GW.”

George Washington head coach Jamie Lamaster echoed the words of his counterpart on Tuesday night after the victory over Musselman, mentioning the defensive effort of MHS was the first thing he noticed watching them.

“They have adjusted well with the loss of Jordan and a few of their players have stepped up as leaders for them,” he said. “The one thing that I saw from them (Tuesday) was a very-impressive defensive effort. Greenbrier East had trouble getting good shots off. From an offensive standpoint for us, that will be something we have to pay attention to details on and make sure we are doing the right things, keeping space, using our screens.”

The Patriots had three players in double-figure scoring in the quarterfinals with Finley Lohan and Zaniah Zellous each collecting double-doubles in scoring and rebounds. GW grabbed 45 rebounds on Tuesday in the quarterfinals also.

The Mohigans were led by freshman Kayli Kellogg in the quarterfinals on Tuesday with 21 points, five rebounds, and three assists. Senior Paige Smith contributed a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds.

The Mohigans and Patriots will tip off inside the Coliseum and Convention Center in Charleston this afternoon at 1 p.m. The winner will advance to play in the Class AAAA state championship game at 12:30 p.m. tomorrow against the winner of the first semifinal No. 2 Wheeling Park and No. 6 Huntington, which tips off this morning at 9:30 a.m.

TWEET @DomPostSports