Brooke boys unable to find groove, fall hard to Morgantown

WELLSBURG — Brooke boys basketball coach Cam Koehler has been preaching consistency to his players and, in the new year his Bruins have shown improvement.

The bottom fell out Tuesday night, however, as Morgantown invaded the Brooke Wellness Center and went home with a 64-20 victory.

Koehler’s Bruins, now 5-8, fell victim to a ferocious Mohigan defense that pressed from end line to end line in relentless fashion. The result was Brooke committing 22 turnovers and at times, especially in the third quarter, were unable to get the ball across the half court line. When they did, the pressure forced them into hurried shots that were off the mark.

Brooke had only five field goals in the game and only one in the entire second half as they were outscored 42-6 in the final two quarters.

“Morgantown is a good team, and they did pressure us well, but I don’t think it was all their defense more so than our offense,” Koehler said. “Our decision-making and passing in the second half was pretty bad if not horrendous. We threw the ball out of bands, threw it into double teams, dribbled into double teams and that made their defense look a lot better.

“At this point, we have guys that know how to play, know what to do, it is just doing it consistently. I’ve said that every game. For us to move forward the rest of this season our guys have to realize what it takes to win, how to win and how to be a winner.”

The Bruins were within striking distance at the half down 22-14, but opened the second half with seven turnovers in their first seven possessions and wound up scoring just one point in the third period, while the Mohigans put 30 on the board.

Morgantown coach Dave Tallman put in subs and called off the full court pressure in the fourth period. It still outscored the Bruins 12-5.

“I was very proud of our team’s effort but were 5-13 at the foul line in the first half and missed a lot of layups,” he said. “I just told them at halftime to get mentally tougher and put the ball in the basket.

“Our defense has been good all year. We’re hungry. We lost six games, but they were to top 10 teams, so we’ve been battle tested. Our confidence might be a little down because of that, but they’ve been working really hard and I think we’re about ready to break through.”

The win put the Mohigans over .500 at 7-6.

Cam Selders scorched the nets for 21 points to lead Morgantown. Junior Lemar Haskins was the only other Mohigan in double figures with 12. Nick Malone, the 6-6 junior center, controlled the point and led all rebounders with 11 including 4 off the offensive glass.

Senior Evan Cuomo topped the Bruins coming off the bench to score five points, all from the foul line.

The Bruins get a week to lick their wounds and get ready to host Wheeling Park next Tuesday, while the Mohigans return home to host cross town rival University next Saturday.

Game notes:

¯ The Morgantown reserve team did about the same thing as the varsity scoring a lopsided 71-27 win in the preliminary game. Carson Poffenberger scored 15 for the Little Mohigans while Brennan Secrist was top scorer for the Bruin jayvees scoring 9 points.

¯ Prior to the varsity game, the Brooke athletic department honored seniors of the Bruin dance team, cheerleaders and basketball team.

Morgantown 64, Brooke 20

Morgantown 10-12-30-12 — 64

Brooke 6-8-1-5 — 20

MORGANTOWN (7-6): C. Selders 10 1-2 21; DeFelice 1 0-1 2; D. Selders 2 0-0 6; Blakney 1 0-1 3; Hartman 1 0-0 3; Haines 1 0-0 3; Malone 2 1-4 5; Haskins 3 6-11 12; Alton 1 0-0 2; Battle 2 0-0 4; Rudy 1 0-0 3. TOTALS: 25 8-19 64. Three-pointers: 6 )D. Selders 2, Blakney, Hartman, Haines, Rudy); Rebounds: 33 (Malone 11); Turnovers: 6.

BROOKE (5-8): Moore 1 1-7 3; Shelton 0 1-3 1; Cuomo 0 5-6 5; Pennybacker 1 0-0 2; Secrist 0 1-3 1; Pauls 2 0-0 4; Georgy 1 1-3 4. TOTALS: 5 9-22 20. Three-pointers: 1 (Georgy); Rebounds: 22 (Moore, Williams, Secrest 4 each); Turnovers: 22.