MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — An 8-0 run in overtime lifted Morgantown to an 82-77 win over University in the championship game of the Mohawk Shootout at University High School.
In a matchup of state tournament teams from last March, the Hawks closed regulation on a 9-2 run to force overtime. Division 1 prospect Kaden Metheny drilled a deep 3-pointer with five seconds left to even the score at 70. Morgantown was unable to answer and the game headed to a three-minute overtime session.
In overtime, baskets by Metheny and Ryan Niceler gave the Hawks a 75-73 lead with ninety seconds remaining. But the Mohigans scored the next eight points to take a lead they would not relinquish. Carson Poffenberger and Mac McMillen converted on 3-point plays on consecutive possessions to seal the game inside the final minute.
“It just proves that our guys are working,” said Morgantown head coach Dave Tallman. “The game doesn’t mean anything. The games in March will. I think University and Morgantown both have the same goal in mind this year — to be in Charleston and compete for a title.”
“Anytime these teams get to play each other, there is a lot of pride involved,” said University head coach Joe Schmidle. “The intensity level increases. Morgantown looked really good. I was very impressed with their perimeter shooting.”
Morgantown defeated Parkersburg and Woodrow Wilson to advance to the championship round. Games featured a running clock with 20-minute halves. “We didn’t run one offensive play tonight,” Tallman said. “We don’t have any playbook in. We don’t have any defense in. These guys are really starting to jell and they are pushing each other to get better.”
Tallman says the months between July and the start of preseason practice in November will be critical as his team replaces multiple starters.
“When people aren’t watching, what are you doing in the dark? These guys work. When people aren’t watching, they are working.”
University will begin defense of their first Class AAA state championship with four starters back, led by all-state guards Kaden Metheny and K.J. McClurg.
“We don’t have a lot of questions with our returning personnel,” Schmidle said. “We do have some questions with some of our younger guys, some freshmen and sophomores that we do have. I am pleasantly surprised with the results I have seen from some of those guys.”
The Hawks will conclude their three-week practice window this weekend, competing at a tournament in Philadelphia.
“The three-week period gives us an extended tryout period for what is going to happen in the fall,” Schmidle said. “It gives us a good chance to evaluate the talent of these kids and to see where they are compared to their teammates.”