Mohigans' girls out of miracles Byard (26), Huskies in a runaway
MCT REGIONAL NEWS
By Eric Hanlon
The Dominion Post, Morgantown, W.Va.
March 02--RACHAEL -- A week ago, the Morgantown High girls' basketball team stunned third-ranked University in the Region 1, Section 1 semifinals. Tuesday, the Mohigans attempted to pull off another shocker in regionals against the two-time defending state champion and current No. 1-ranked team in the state, North Marion.
Unfortunately for the Mohigans, they didn't have another miracle up their sleeves, and lost, 74-58.
"North Marion is such a great team. They were the state champions last year and this year I'm rooting for them because they're so great," MHS senior Chelby Carey said. "But I'm proud of my team and how far we've come. I think it would have surprised the whole state if we had won."
Morgantown (10-14) first-year head coach Adam Henkins also realized how incredible a win against North Marion (22-0) would have been.
"I can't even fathom what that would've been like -- going to the state tournament at 11-13, knocking off the No. 1 and No. 3 teams in the state," Henkins said. "You dream about it. You hope for it. We had a game plan, but they're the No. 1 team in the state for a reason."
North Marion made sure to end any upset hopes quickly, tearing off a 17-0 run to open the game.
"They went 17-0 in the first quarter and that's pretty hard to come back from," Carey said. "We're really young this year and with the younger girls, when teams go on those rolls like that, I think we got frustrated."
Morgantown turned over the ball six times during the 17-0 run. Meanwhile, North Marion shot the lights out.
"That's exactly what we didn't want to happen. They came out on fire, making 3-point shots and were running the floor," Henkins said. "They came out with a lot of intensity, and when they play like that and are making shots, they're hard to defend."
North Marion built a 41-18 halftime lead, led by senior Mariah Byard. She hit six 3s in the game and scored a game-high 26 points.
"I voted for her for the state Player of the Year and I told her," Henkins said. "We've played a lot of teams with a lot of great players, and I can tell you, she's the best."
North Marion eventually built its lead to 31 points before allowing a fourthquarter MHS rally, while a number of subs for both teams were in.
The loss concludes a surprising postseason run for MHS, which struggled for much of the regular season.
"If you would've told me halfway through the season that we'd be playing for the regional championship, I would have told you you were crazy," Henkins said. "Everybody would have told you you were crazy. It was an up and down year."
Carey finished with four points and eight rebounds for MHS, while junior Bri Nuzum scored a team-high 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
North Marion advances to the state tournament, next week, in Charleston.
Michael 3 0-0 6, Ramadan 1 0-0 3, Nuzum 10 1-1 21, Sabatino 2 0-0 4, Carey 1 2-4 4, Thompson 1 0-0 2, Holloway 1 0-2 2, Naugle 1 0-0 2, Ireland 4 1-4 9, Williams 0 0-0 0, Taylor 1 1-1 3, Golden 1 0-1 2. Totals 26 5-12 58.
NORTH MARION (22-0)
Tuttle 2 2-3 6, Garrett 7 5-5 19, Steele 3 2-3 9, Byard 8 4-4 26, Swiger 4 1-2 11, Daniels 1 1-4 3, Webber 0 0-0 0, Moscufo 0 0-0 0. Totals 25 15-20 74. Morgantown 10 8 16 24 -- 58 North Marion 25 16 22 11 -- 74
3-point goals: MHS 1 (Ramadan). North Marion 9 (Byard 6, Swiger 2, Steele).
To see more of The Dominion Post or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.dominionpost.com/.
(c) 2011, The Dominion Post, Morgantown, W.Va.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.