Local Sports, Morgantown, Sports

Young’s 3-pointer in overtime lifts Morgantown over Spring Mills to win 3rd-straight state title

CHARLESTON — It was unlike any game Morgantown High had played this season, but the result was the same as senior Sharron Young capped off his brilliant high school career by nailing a game-winning three-pointer to lift the Mohigans to an overtime win over Spring Mills in the Class AAAA state title game Saturday afternoon in the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center.

Young hadn’t made a three-pointer through the first 35-and-a-half minutes of play in a tough-nosed defensive struggle against the Cardinals, but got the chance to be the hero with 32 seconds left and his shot from the left wing rattled through to put the Mohigans up 33-32.

“It’s almost like a dream come true,” Young said. “I’m in my driveway with my grandpa all the time and we’re always doing situations just like that.”

Fellow senior Izzy Everett made a pair of free throws down the stretch as Morgantown claimed its third-straight Class AAAA championship, 35-32.

Morgantown players celebrate with Morgantown’s Sharron Young (5) on Saturday for the AAAA Championship in Charleston. (William Wotring/The Dominion Post)

“What an ugly game,” MHS coach Dave Tallman said. “Our defense was incredible, their defense was incredible.”

The game-winning inbounds play, which featured a cross-court pass from Everett to Jacob King and then to Young coming around a screen, is appropriately called ‘game-winner.’

“There at the end, the staff was kind of banging our heads against the wall trying to figure out how to score and I said ‘let’s win this thing, let’s run the play game-winner and get the ball in Sharron’s hand,’” Tallman said. “Let’s get the ball in his hands, let him finish this and let’s get the heck out of here.”

Despite being 0-5 from range up to that point and just 3-18 from the field, there was no one better than Young to take the final shot. Morgantown High’s all-time leading scorer has played in 12 state tournament games in his career with a pair of titles already under his belt

“I was pretty confident,” Young said. “I knew one had to fall sooner or later. They weren’t falling and I knew if I got the chance to get the ball for the last shot I was going to take it and I was going to make it.”

Morgantown’s Sharron Young (5) makes a layup against the Springs Mills on Saturday for the AAAA Championship in Charleston. (William Wotring/The Dominion Post)

Morgantown, an offensive force this season, struggled to score all game long. The Mohigans finished 14-51 from the floor and 3-20 from three-point range as Spring Mills played a deliberate and punishing defense.

“That was exactly how we wanted it to go until the end,” SM coach Luke Samples said. “It played out exactly how we wanted it to. We were confident in the scout and it worked out until the very, very end.”

The teams combined for just 15 points in the opening frame as Spring Mills led 9-6 after the first quarter. An even lower-scoring second quarter saw Morgantown up 14-13 at halftime.

“You’ve got to give credit to them,” Tallman said of the Cardinals. “They’re long and athletic and they make it hard to score, especially when you can’t make an outside shot.”

Spring Mills opened the second half with a 6-0 scoring run to create the first, and only, two-possession lead of the game, 19-14. MHS responded, however with a pair of buckets from Marty Johnson and Brady Savage to make it 19-18.

MHS started 0-13 on three-pointers until senior J Shrewsberry connected at the end of the third quarter to knot the game at 21-21.

Morgantown’s J Shrewsberry (10) reacts after making a three point shot against the Springs Mills on Saturday for the AAAA Championship in Charleston. (William Wotring/The Dominion Post)

“We knew their length was going to be a problem, there’s no way around that,” Tallman said. “I thought we got good looks, I really do. We were 3-20, that’ll never happen again at Morgantown High.”

Spring Mills led 28-26 with two minutes to play as both teams continued to struggle to put the ball through the hoop. That score stayed until the final 20 seconds. 

Morgantown called a play for Everett, who was 0-8  from the field at that point, and he delivered, driving to the hoop and making a contested layup to send the game into overtime tied 28-28.

“I caught the ball and really wasn’t open for the three so I just drove it,” Everett explained. “I had to make a play and my teammates trusted me to make a play. I really wasn’t playing well, but my teammates trusted me.”

Trust was the key for the Mohigans on Saturday. Despite their offensive struggles in the game, Tallman and the MHS coaching staff trusted Everett and Young when the game was on the line and the seniors delivered both times.

Morgantown’s Izzy Everett (2) and Morgantown’s Sharron Young (5) celebrate after defeating Springs Mills on Saturday for the AAAA Championship in Charleston. (William Wotring/The Dominion Post)

“I don’t think anyone can understand the fellowship, the love, the brotherhood we have,” Tallman said. “We just have that relationship, I can’t say enough things about it. It’s just kind of the program we’ve built.”

MHS did not score until there were only 32 seconds left in the overtime period. Spring Mills led 31-28 before Young stole an inbounds pass and found Savage for a wide-open layup. Young then hit his three-pointer and Everett sank two free throws as the Mohigans scored all seven of their overtime points in the last 30 seconds.

“I thought we lost the game six times, that’s what it felt like,” Tallman said. 

Young, who was named state tournament MVP, led MHS with 11 points while pulling down 10 rebounds, dishing out four assists and grabbing five steals. Savage finished with eight points and seven rebounds to finish a stellar tournament run for the junior. King and Shrewsberry each scored five while Everett had four and Johnson scored two.

It was the final high school game for seniors Young, Everett, King, Shrewsberry and Jaylon Hill.

Spring Mills, by contrast, will only graduate one senior. It was the Cardinals’ first state tournament appearance in program history.

“I’m not sad at all, I’m happy,” Samples said. “I’m happy for these guys, I’m happy for our school, I’m happy for our community.”

Young and Savage were named to the all-tournament team along with Spring Mills’ Xavier Anderson, Caleb Thomas and Akwasi Opoku-Achampong. Huntington’s Jayden Clark and Tayvean Wilson and Wheeling Park’s Mykel Davis were also named to the all-tournament team.

Thomas led all scorers with 14 points and nine rebounds. Opoku Achampong had nine points and Anderson scored four.

Morgantown 35, Spring Mills 32
MHS 6 8 7 7 7 — 35
SM 9 4 8 7 4 — 32
MORGANTOWN (26-1) — Everett 1 2-2 4; King 2 0-0 5; Young 4 2-2 11; Shrewsberry 2 0-0 5; Savage 4 0-2 8; Johnson 1 0-0 2.
SPRING MILLS (25-2) — Opoku-Achampong 3 2-4 9; Thomas 7 0-0 14; X. Anderson 1 2-2 4; Uth-Smith 1 0-0 3; M. Anderson 1 0-0 2; Jones 0 0-0 0.
3-Pt. Goals — Morgantown 3 (King, Young, Shrewsberry). Spring Mills 2 (X. Anderson 2).