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Young’s triple-double leads Morgantown to 78-58 victory at Bridgeport

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — Had someone told Dave Marshall his team would shoot nearly 59 percent from the field in Wednesday’s clash with Morgantown, the Bridgeport boys basketball coach almost certainly would’ve figured his team would have a legitimate chance to upset the Mohigans.

Unfortunately for the Tribe, 26 turnovers and MHS point guard Sharron Young were too much to overcome.

The Indians turned it over 22 times through three quarters, much of which was due to the presence and ball pressure of Young, who finished with 30 points, 11 steals and 10 assists to key Morgantown to a 78-58 road win.

“We didn’t come out like we have been. People are telling us how good we are,” MHS head coach Dave Tallman said after his team won its 13th straight game. “The way we’re playing, we have to play a step ahead and not a step behind. Bridgeport is a well-coached, good team and this is a tough place to play, so I give them a lot of credit. But we had some guys that were flat-footed and not ready to shoot or defend and getting beat off the dribble — things that we don’t usually do. Thank God Sharron Young was here and had a triple-double and carried us.”

Young made 11-of-19 field-goal attempts and consistently bothered Bridgeport (15-3) ball-handlers with his ability to stay in front of who he was defending.

“We worked hard and came out with the energy on defense,” Young said. “We feed off of that and I feed off of it. It makes me play even harder.”

The Mohigans (19-1) scored 14 points over the first 2:59 of play and led by nine following a conventional three-point play from Jay Shrewsbury. The advantage grew to 20-8 not long after on a Marty Johnson three-pointer, before Bridgeport settled in and outscored MHS 11-3 over the remainder of the opening quarter.

However, despite getting five points from Landon Sanders and scoring seven over the final 1:48 of the opening quarter, Bridgeport went cold for much of the second period.

In turn, MHS ran off 11 unanswered points to start the second and held a 34-19 lead after a Jacob King triple. Not until Jack Spatafore made two free throws 2:51 before halftime did the Tribe score in the second quarter, which MHS won 19-8 to lead 42-27 at halftime.

The Indians were responsible for 15 of the game’s 21 turnovers to that point.

“I did not like the nature of some of our turnovers early,” BHS head coach Dave Marshall said. “We’re battling some things with our body language. A lot of that is because of Morgantown, but you can’t continually catch the ball on the baseline with your back to the defense and not expect something bad to happen and then not adjust to it. It’s about what they did, but we have to be better than that and learn from it, because I’m pretty confident we’ll see something similar again.”

Young had 20 first-half points on 8-for-13 shooting and was equally effective in each quarter by scoring 10 in both.

“They’re real good without him, but he makes it something special,” Marshall said.

MHS ran off eight of the first 11 points in the second half and led 54-33 moments later after consecutive close range buckets from Brady Savage and Young.

Ben Bifano countered with consecutive layups for Bridgeport to start a 13-4 spurt — one that allowed the Tribe to pull to within 58-46 on a Phoenix Sickles layup.

However, with time winding down in the third quarter, Young was fouled as he attempted a triple from the corner, and the Akron signee made all three free throws to send his team into the fourth with a 15-point advantage.

The Indians got no closer than 12 in the final frame, that occurring once at 62-50 after an Anderson McDougal layup. Young’s triple just before the midway point of the fourth allowed the visitors to lead 70-54 and marked the last time he would score.

“Sharron is a dog and he could’ve played another game out there,” Tallman said. “That’s how much he works at it and I’m proud of him.”

The Mohigans shot 28 for 49 and committed only nine turnovers.

“We moved the ball and played as a team,” Young said. “That’s what matters most and we fed off each other.”

King scored 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting and led MHS with seven rebounds. Savage added 10 points.

Sanders led Bridgeport with 18 points and Spatafore added 15. The duo combined to make 10-of-16 shots.

Bridgeport also made 13-of-15 free throws, but as a result of the turnovers, attempted only 34 field goals, 20 of which it made.

“It was undoubtedly the story,” Marshall said of the turnovers. “They’re so well-coached and athletic. It felt like every time we turned it over in the first quarter, it was a bucket for them. You can’t put yourselves behind against a team that athletic and well-coached.

“In the second half, we did not get back well in transition. Once we made it a half court game, we held our own, but basketball is not just walk it up and play a half court game — and we did not handle those parts very well. Hats off to them. They were the better team and they’re ranked where they’re at for a reason.”

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