Poca's Cameron Morrison (left) tries to steal the ball from Hoover's Aaron Burdette.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Not too many young players would accept the role that Poca's Cameron Morrison has taken.Morrison, a senior starter for the Class AA-ranked Dots, won't often get his name mentioned in newspaper accounts or his exploits splashed on televised highlights because his point production is limited.Almost invisible, in fact.Morrison is one of those rare players who doesn't look to shoot - ever. In three recent games against Herbert Hoover, Scott and Charleston Catholic, Morrison played nearly the entire way and did not attempt a single field goal in any of the three.
In fact, he's only scored 29 points in 22 games this season. His "high'' game is five points.But that doesn't mean Morrison is a dispensable part of Poca's offense. Not hardly.He's the man stationed near the top of the key, in charge of distributing the ball to wing shooters Noah Frampton and Cameron Cottrill. Morrison dished out six assists in Friday's 38-37 loss at Charleston Catholic."Cam is a great kid and he's a leader,'' said Dots coach Allen Osborne. "He understands what we want and who to get the ball to. He plays good defense, but he doesn't look to score. I'd like for him to shoot more, but he doesn't care. He wants to win.''On defense, Morrison flips his obligations and plays mostly underneath the basket, many times guarding the opponent's toughest matchup in the low post. On Friday, it was Catholic all-stater Nick George."He's a good kid to coach,'' Osborne said. "He's smart, and he'll do anything you want. He does whatever we need him to do. If he's got to be a post guy, he'll be a post guy. With our system, we can play him inside or out and we use him in different areas. Cam's a great kid, and he's intelligent.''Morrison and fellow starter Jake Payne, a junior low post, often never look to score, leaving the bulk of the shots to the other three starters - Frampton, Cottrill and Matt Chandler."It's not designed that way,'' Osborne said.
Yet in last week's game against Scott, during one offensive set, Morrison and Payne kept winding up alone on the same side of the court with the ball, leaving Osborne and assistant coach Fred Wright to holler for one or the other player to switch locations.Little big manIn West Virginia Class AAA basketball, the courts are flooded with tall players bearing sizable skills.
Nearly every team in the top 10 of the AAA poll features a player 6-foot-5 or taller who wreaks havoc on opponents inside the foul lane.But South Charleston doesn't have that kind of low-post presence. The Black Eagles make do with a shorter lineup and utilize their speed and quickness. Their "big man'' is 6-2 senior Hunter Moles.Moles, in turn, has played well down the stretch.
He scored 12 points in Thursday's 67-41 win over Greenbrier East and helped neutralize the Spartans' 6-9 Obi Romeo, who finished with four points. Moles then poured in a career-high 23 points in Saturday's 62-58 overtime victory at Wheeling Park when SC's leading scorer, A.D. Cunningham, experienced foul trouble.Moles has taken his day-to-day battles with big men around the Mountain State Athletic Conference in stride."I've gotten used to it, I guess you could say,'' he said.
"Obi Romeo, he's a big guy and I respect his game a lot, but I did the best I could on him. Coach [Boz Fakur], our big man coach, teaches me a lot. He says it doesn't matter how big you are - you can guard anybody. It doesn't matter the size.''Moles realizes he can't defend taller opponents in the post without assistance from his teammates."My coaches and teammates, they really help me to guard those guys,'' Moles said, "and they show me a lot of confidence. They know I can try to shut them down, so they put me on them, and the guards do their work.''No luck in SissonvilleSissonville had higher hopes coming into the season, coming off an 18-7 record and returning two of its top three scorers in Zach Null and Trent Stowers.However, the Indians have struggled to find a consistent scoring option behind those two and bring an 8-14 record into sectional play tonight.Another obstacle has been bad luck. Sissonville is 1-9 in games decided by eight points or fewer, including three one-point losses."When you're losing, it seems like everything goes against you,'' said coach Rich Skeen, "even though it's really never more than before. We're just snake-bit. Just inconsistent.''Fast breaks Parkersburg South's Wes Mitchem recently passed Steve Swisher (1,077) and Lance Cantley (1,103) to become the program's fifth all-time leading scorer with 1,136 points. On a tear: Woodrow Wilson junior guard Donte Nabors has scored 22 or more points in 10 of his last 11 games. Charleston Catholic isn't shooting lights-out at the foul line as team, but Zach Casto is hitting 89 percent. Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or firstname.lastname@example.org.