MORGANTOWN, W.Va – The first Morgantown Shootout took over the Mylan Park Sports Complex on Saturday and by the looks of things at the end of the day, it is well on its way to becoming an annual event. Six local teams took part in the competition and the brand new facility at Mylan Park was what made it all possible.
“I’m just thankful to the Morgantown community, whoever got this facility for us,” Morgantown head coach Dave Tallman said, “It’s beautiful. Everybody’s excited from people this age, up through high school and adults. It’s just a beautiful facility for everybody and I think its been a great event today.”
The North Marion boys basketball team is looking to capitalize on its first trip to the state tournament in nine years and Huskies coach Steven Harbert says that an opportunity like the Morgantown Shootout is great for bringing a new team together.
“An event like this is great,” he said, “You get to see team’s from all over the state, some local competition. Coach Tallman did a great job of pairing people up so its awesome.”
Meanwhile for a program on the rise like the Elkins Tigers, a chance to challenge yourself against opponents from different classifications and parts of the state can come in handy when crunch time comes during the regular season.
“That’s what it’s given us today just like you said, with different classifications, teams that we would never see, teams that we’re not going to play in the regular season, just different challenges for us,” Elkins coach Amrit Rayfield said, “Facing different challenges, not having any particular scout or knowing what guys are going to have to do so its making us and our players have to adjust to different things which is helping them become better as well.”
If the host team’s crosstown rivals at University have anything to say about it, the Morgantown Shootout is only going to get bigger and better moving forward.
“I just think this is an awesome opportunity for us here in Morgantown,” Hawks coach Joe Schmidle said, “Really happy that coach Tallman put this thing together. I think this has been organized fantastic and I think you’re going to see it continue to grow. In the course of a few years I could see us having thirty, forty, fifty teams here and it being a two or three day event here in the future.”
By the sounds of things from the folks in charge, Schmidle may just get his wish when it comes to future editions of this event.
We’ve always wanted to do something during the three-week period and now we have the facility to do it,” Tallman said, “Everybody loves to come to Morgantown from all over the state so I think next year this will be even bigger and better but I really appreciate those that traveled three-plus hours to get here today. I think we’ve had a lot of good competitive basketball.”
The inaugural Morgantown Shootout saw 28 games played in a seven hour period spread out across four courts at the Mylan Park Sports Complex and the future looks bright for what many are hoping can become a signature summer event in north-central West Virginia.