WHEELING - Morgantown coach Tom Yester says accolades - no matter the form - are about the kids in his program.
''I'm just a willing participant,'' he said.
Perhaps, but the veteran coach likely had a satisfying ride home Thursday night following the Mohigans' 96-68 rout of Wheeling Park, the 600th victory of his 40-year career.
Wheeling Park’s Michael Thomas (22) defends as Morgantown’s Nicholas Colasante (15) dribbles down court during their game on Thursday night in Wheeling.
''Generally,'' he said, ''this is a tough place to come out of with a 'W.' I've been very fortunate. I've had some pretty good teams, obviously a lot of good coaches, and a lot of good people in my family to support me.''
His current team might be one of his best. After a rather large letdown against Martinsburg its last outing, MHS wasted no time determining the outcome of this one. The Mohigans (4-1) led 27-7 after the first quarter and 58-23 at halftime, hitting 6 of 12 from beyond the 3-point line at that point, one game after going 1 of 15 from that distance.
''Well, we were due to make a couple shots,'' Hester said. ''That cures a lot of ills.''
They wound up reaching double figures in 3s, with three players draining at least two. When they weren't looking for those, they dipped it down low to double-double machines Nathan Adrian and Austin Agnew. Adrian had a game-best 22 points and 14 rebounds, while Agnew totaled 13 points and 10 rebounds. Neither played the fourth quarter.
Wheeling Park (2-3) was without a starter in Andrew Kowalo, who was fulfilling a baseball-related obligation, but Patriots coach Michael Jebbia knew that wasn't the difference.
''We haven't felt like this in a long time,'' Jebbia said, thinking back to a 2008 loss to Zanesville as perhaps the only one that was worse during his seven years on the Park bench. ''I understand Morgantown might be better than us. We were just outmanned, but when that happens ... loose balls, rebounds, defense and energy can combat them having a little bit more skill than us.
''We just didn't compete.''
Wheeling Park did hold a 29-12 scoring edge in the fourth quarter to make it a little more respectable, but by that time, guys like Adrian and Agnew were little more than bystanders.
''When we subbed, it looked like every man for himself,'' Yester said.
Ryan Reinbeau led Wheeling Park with 16 points and seven rebounds, while Quashad Pugh had 11 points before being escorted off the court in the fourth quarter with an injury.
Mark Johnson came off the bench to add 11 points, including a trio of 3-pointers in the second quarter, for MHS.
''Certainly, that's more of what we want,'' Yester said. ''We had a lot of guys do a lot of good things.''
The Patriots, playing in front of a host of former players, did not.
'''For us to lay an egg, it's tough to take but you get the ego bruised and try to come back to practice (Friday),'' Jebbia said.