MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Before University High School boys basketball coach Joe Schmidle could begin to discuss his team’s dominant performance in Friday’s 108-57 win over Morgantown, Schmidle first had to take a moment to praise Hawks’ guard Kaden Metheny.
Metheny, who has made a habit of standout performances throughout his prep career, saved his best one yet for the Class AAA Region I, Section 2 title game. The senior scored a school record 44 points to surpass the 2,000-point mark for his career and lift the Hawks to a runaway win over their crosstown rival.
“He’s the best player in the state,” Schmidle said. “Both sides of the ball, he does it all. He can shoot, he can pass, he plays defense. He’s the real deal and the complete package. He’ll be missed.”
The win allows University (21-3) to say home and face John Marshall in a Region I co-final Tuesday, while Morgantown (20-4) will play at Wheeling Park after suffering its third loss in four matchups with the Hawks this season.
“I reminded them before the game started what it felt like losing on that bank shot (to Morgantown in last year’s sectional title game) and having to go to Wheeling Park,” Schmidle said. “We didn’t want to do that again. We’re happy with the win.”
Metheny was a force throughout, sinking three of his nine three-pointers in the opening quarter, which allowed UHS to build an 18-10 lead.
After Metheny’s backcourt mate K.J. McClurg sank consecutive triples in the second quarter, the Hawks lead was up to 30-15 5:26 before halftime.
Metheny scored all 11 of his second-quarter points from that point forward, including his team’s last nine points of the half to help the Hawks buil a 43-24 advantage at the break.
At the half, Metheny had 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting, while Morgantown was 7-of-20 from the field as a team.
“We didn’t box out, so before the half we had to get out of the zone and go man,” MHS head coach Dave Tallman said. “He’s really good and way better than anybody we have.”
Things went from bad to worse for Morgantown at the start of the second half.
Metheny had a conventional three-point play early in the third quarter and hit a triple moments later to up his team’s lead to 54-31.
Metheny scored consecutive buckets later in the period, first knocking home a jumper and then drilling another trey to give the Hawks a 65-35 lead 2:28 before the start of the fourth.
“I came in with full focus and I didn’t want this to be my last home game,” Metheny said. “It was a true team effort and we all played to the best of our ability. Our defense is what stood out to me.”
UHS took a 72-42 lead into the final quarter and Metheny continued to shine, scoring 11 more points as the Hawks outscored the Mohigans, 36-15, over the final eight minutes.
The Bowling Green signee made 14-of-24 shots and 7-of-8 free throws in his second-to-last home game at UHS. He also added four rebounds and six assists.
McClurg scored 23 points in the win, while Aaron Forbes contributed 12 points and eight rebounds.
In addition to shooting nearly 63 percent (39-of-62), University held Morgantown to 17-of-46 shooting (37 percent).
“We took them out of their flow,” Schmidle said.
Carson Poffenberger led MHS with 12 points, while Troy Battle and Xavier Pryor scored 10 apiece.