The Times West Virginian


January 1, 2014

Horton, Polar Bears edge Bridgeport, 54-53: PHOTOS

FAIRMONT — A fine line separated the winner from the loser Tuesday afternoon at Woody Williams Armory — the free-throw line that is.

Trailing Bridgeport by a single point with just 14 seconds remaining, Fairmont Senior’s Tavon Horton was fouled, sending him to the stripe for a one-and-one. The junior guard was already the team’s second-leading scorer on the day — with 13 points he was just behind Isaac Childers’ 16— but was struggling mightily with his foul shots, sinking just one of five.

Darhius Nunn, who finished with nine points, approached his teammate from outside the 3-point arc and jokingly gave him a soft punch on the shoulder. Looking him in the eye he said, “No pressure. You can knock these down easy like in practice.”

Looking on from the bench, coach Dave Retton told himself the same thing.

“We joke on our team; we talk about clearing or deleting after a bad play or something,” he said. “As a coach, that’s what I did. I cleared my mind and hoped that he went up there and certainly knocked one down.”

Horton let the first shot go and watched it squeeze through the iron. He had tied the game. Now he had a shot to win it.

Butterflies? Beating heart? Sweaty palms?

“Oh my gosh, yes!” Horton said afterward.

With the forwards leaning into the lane in anticipation of a rebound, Horton’s shot sailed through the hoop to give the Polar Bears a 54-53 lead.

The Indians scrambled in the final seconds and got off two solid looks, but neither fell. As the final horn sounded, the Polar Bears took off down the court in celebration, hugging Horton with one hand, index fingers raised on the other.

While East Fairmont and North Marion remain Fairmont Senior’s most storied rivals, the win against Bridgeport ranks right up there, the players said, especially considering that the Indians ended the Polar Bears’ football season on the way to the Class AA state championship.

“It's one of the best wins,” Nunn said.

The victory was Fairmont Senior’s second-consecutive one-possession win. The Polar Bears (3-3 overall, 3-1 Big 10) edged Brooke by just three points Saturday. Fairmont Senior is now back to .500 after starting the season 1-3.

Retton said he has continued to see improvement in his young team.

“You have to give credit to what the team did, and our team did some really good things out there. But tomorrow we’ve got to get better,” he said. “That’s the process.

“If you get one percent better in each game, we’ve got 15 or 20 games left. Those percentages add up, and that’s a really good basketball team come late February and early March.”

The next chance to add to those percentages will come Friday when the Polar Bears travel to Grafton.

Email Mike DeFabo at or follow him on Twitter @MikeDeFaboTWV.


Text Only
  • Jones uses his attitude to lead Polar Bears

    When you look around the football field come August, you’ll see plenty of new faces for the Fairmont Senior Polar Bears. But there will be at least one very familiar face.
    TJ Jones is one of just a handful of seniors on this year’s Fairmont Senior team, and he’s hoping to go out on top.

    July 24, 2014

  • WVU, N.C. State to meet in football

    Following a trend of creating non-conference games against regional opponents, West Virginia University has reached agreement with North Carolina State to play a home-and-home football series in 2018 and 2019.
    The Mountaineers are scheduled to play N.C. State in Raleigh on Sept. 15, 2018, and then play host to the Wolfpack on Sept. 14, 2019.

    July 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Cheating pays’ remark should draw attention

    When Bob Bowlsby, the outspoken commissioner of the Big 12, presented his opening-day picture of the future of college sports in Dallas for the annual media day gathering, his bleak comments were not unexpected.

    July 24, 2014

  • FSU football season tickets available

    Season ticket packages and VIP parking for the 2014 Fairmont State University football season are now available for purchase.
    Several options are available, including the opportunity to purchase a piece of Fairmont State history.

    July 24, 2014

  • Pirates jump on Haren early, top Dodgers, 6-1

    Josh Harrison had two hits with two RBIs and the Pittsburgh Pirates jumped on Dan Haren early in a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.
    Harrison’s two-run double down the left field line capped a four-run outburst in the first against Haren (8-8).

    July 24, 2014

  • Berner, Hess lead W.Va. Open

    Threatening weather did not strike Wednesday, and it was a cool, breezy start to the 81st West Virginia Open played on the Cobb Course at The Resort at Glade Springs.

    July 23, 2014

  • WVU, Tennessee finalize 2018 meeting

    West Virginia University and Tennessee have finalized their season-opening, Sept. 1, 2018, meeting in Charlotte, N.C., at Bank of America Stadium.
    Both teams will receive $2.5 million for the game and have a chance to earn up to $3.2 million with ticket incentives.
    Each team will buy 12,500 tickets and set aside 2,000 of its allotment for students.
    The game, played on the home field of the Carolina Panthers of the NFL, is being put on by the Charlotte Sports Federation.

    July 23, 2014

  • Holgorsen’s program hits turning point

    You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.

    July 23, 2014

  • Fleming, Billy.jpg WVU’s Fleming signs contract with Yankees

     Second baseman Billy Fleming of the West Virginia University baseball team has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees, foregoing his upcoming senior season.
    “Ever since I was a little kid, it’s been my dream to play professional baseball,” Fleming said. “It is still surreal that I get to chase my dream, but I am ready to get after it. I loved my three years at WVU and want to thank all the coaches that made it possible for me to achieve my dream.”

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big 12 Media Days Foo_time(1).jpg Trickett’s play key factor for Mountaineers’ success

     In the end, it comes down to the quarterback.
    Always has with Dana Holgorsen, always will.
    Quarterback is the offense with the West Virginia University coach. When he does well, the team wins – almost always.
    When he does poorly, the team doesn’t stand much of a chance.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos