— By Joe Smith
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Morgantown High fans weren’t shy about letting Logan junior David Early know just how they felt about him.
“Overrated” was the most common sentiment shared by the MHS student section, as the Morgantown defense held the three-star recruit to just 13 points as the Mohigans defeated the Class AA No. 4 Wildcats 49-39 in the opening round of the American Homes Holiday Classic Tournament.
The truth, however, isn’t that there’s too much hype surrounding Early. It’s that Class AAA No. 4 Morgantown’s defense is that good.
“We made him try to score from the volleyball line. We didn’t let him penetrate,” MHS coach Dave Tallman said. “Every time he caught the ball we had two guys finding him. That’s a testament to how good of a basketball player he is.”
Senior guard Cam Selders attributed the stellar performance to tremendous shot defense against a sharp-shooting Logan squad and an energized defensive effort from the entire unit.
“I’m proud of my team. When I’d get tired and couldn’t rotate well enough, I’d have someone there right away,” Selders said. “They’d help me out by giving that boost of energy.
“Their shots didn’t fall tonight, and we were always there contesting their shots. We came in normal tonight, we just had to keep an eye on their shooters.”
Tallman was disappointed with the offensive effort, but is happy that his team has the defensive skill to fall back upon when shots aren’t falling.
“Our offense was horrific at best. We couldn’t make shots, layups or foul shots, “Tallman said. “If you can play like that offensively and still get a win, it says something about how good your defense is.”