Morgantown Crushes John Marshall
MOUNDSVILLE — Coming off a huge revenge victory over arch-rival, and West Virginia Class AAA No. 1 University High, on Wednesday, Morgantown showed that its momentum had not worn out Friday night when it hit the road once again to take on John Marshall.
The Mohigans drained seven three-pointers in the first quarter, including their initial five attempts, in racing to a quick 13-0 lead before putting it into cruise control and rolling to an 85-38 thumping of the Monarchs at the John Marshall Fieldhouse.
Coach Dave Tallman’s club, which entered the game ranked No. 3 in the latest big school poll, now sits at 10-1 entering home games with Martinsburg and Wheeling Park next week.
“Coming off a big win earlier this week I think coming on the road and playing like we did (Friday) validates that we are doing things right,” Tallman said. “This is an awesome group of kids to coach and I really like my team and hopefully we can continue the success we have had so far.”
That success was on full display last night as 6-foot-7 junior Carson Poffenberger and senior Alex Rudy combined to score the game’s first 13 points in the initial 2:32 of the opening quarter.
By the time the dust had cleared the Mohigans had a 27-6 lead at the end of the frame with Poffenberger scoring 12 points and Rudy dropping in a trio of triples for nine points.
An 8-2 run to open the second extended the lead to 27 at 35-8 before a late 9-1 burst sent the visitors to the lockerroom with a commanding 50-15 advantage.
While Tallman had gone deep into his bench as early as the first quarter, Morgantown ripped off the first eight points of the third stanza and eventually enjoyed a 45-point lead at 66-21 with just eight minutes to play.
The biggest margin of the contest came on a Jaheim Felton steal-and-score with 3:04 to play that pushed the count to 83-30.
“We have a great group that works hard in the weight room and is simply just big and strong and we can go pretty deep,” Tallman said. “And we showed once again (Friday) that we have the ability to rebound the ball, even with our starters out of the game. I have the utmost respect for John Marshall and all the teams in the Ohio Valley, they are all hard-nosed kids and I always love having the opportunity to come up here and play.”
Poffenberger led all scorers with 17 points, while adding seven rebounds, while Rudy chipped in 12 and senior Mac McMillen added 11 as the Mohigans had 12 players dent the scoring column. Junior Max Washington came off the bench to supply a game-high nine rebounds.
Sophomore Jacob Korngiver paced the Monarchs with nine points off the bench while Izac Babiczuk, who has been fighting the flu all week and did not start last night, contributed eight points. In all, John Marshall’s starters scored only seven points in the contest.
Morgantown controlled the glass to the tune of 45-23 with the Monarchs committing 19 turnovers, 10 more than their guests. The Mohigans also finished with 13 three-point field goals on the night.
“When the other team comes out and shoots the ball as well as they did in the first quarter and they have that much athleticism you can pretty much just thrown the game plan out the window,” John Marshall coach Chad Clutter said. “Kudos them to them for coming out and playing like that after how they won at University. In my mind that team has as good a chance of winning a state championship as anybody.
“Izak (Babiczuk) has missed school most of the week but came off the bench to give us eight points and we have a great little sophomore left-handed shooter in Jacob Korngiver who led us.
“We are going to be on the road for a while now, but we will be ready to keep plugging away.”