The Times West Virginian

Prep Sports

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 mdefabo@timeswv.com or follow him on Twitter @MikeDeFaboTWV.

 

1
Text Only
Prep Sports
  • Post 17 makes short work of Wheeling to advance to nightcap

    Post 17 Fairmont scattered 16 hits and plated double-digit runs in a 10-2 rout of Post 1 Wheeling Friday afternoon at Hawley Field.

    August 1, 2014

  • Post 17 #18-Post 29 catche copy.jpg Post 17 picks up much-needed win over Elkins

    After a rather sloppy Area tournament, Post 17 Fairmont managed to turn things around Thursday afternoon at Hawley Field in Morgantown, staying alive with a 4-2 win over Elkins in the American Legion state baseball tournament.
    While it’s usually hitting that gets Fairmont by, Thursday it was the pitching and the defense.

    August 1, 2014 5 Photos

  • Post 17 stays alive in American Legion state tournament

    After a rather sloppy Area tournament, Post 17 Fairmont managed to turn things around Thursday afternoon at Hawley Filed in Morgantown, staying alive with a 4-2 win over Elkins in the American Legion state baseball tournament.

    July 31, 2014

  • Post 17 #18-Post 1 #2  run copy.jpg Wheeling holds off Post 17 rally in state tournament opener: PHOTOS

    Wheeling Post 1 pitcher Mo Felt nearly went the distance in a 7-6 victory over Fairmont Post 17 on Tuesday afternoon at the West Virginia American Legion Baseball State Tournament at Hawley Field.
    Felt struck out seven in 8.1 innings of work in the team’s first-round victory over Fairmont.

    July 31, 2014 9 Photos

  • DeVaul wraps up final season as Post 17’s leader

    If you were to ask players on Fairmont American Legion Post 17’s roster who they looked up to, you’d find a familiar pattern.

    July 29, 2014

  • Post 17 falls short of Area II championship

    Sometimes getting a bad game out of your system is what a team needs.

    July 27, 2014

  • JAMES UNDER RAINBOW -TS.jpg Post 17 plays itself into Area II championship game: PHOTOS

    The goal was simple for Post 17 Fairmont: Beat Bridgeport and advance to the state American Legion Tournament. But it left with more than a state tournament berth Saturday night at East Fairmont High School.
    After beating Bridgeport, 11-8, Fairmont secured a spot in next week’s state tournament. But with one challenge down, Fairmont moved on to the next: Playing itself into an area championship game.

    July 27, 2014 14 Photos

  • Post 17 plays itself into Area II championship game

    The goal was simple for Post 17 Fairmont: beat Bridgeport and advance to the state American Legion Tournament. But it left with more than a state tournament berth Saturday night at East Fairmont High School.

    July 26, 2014

  • Post 17 #20-Post 2 #12-ts.jpg Late rally douses Post 17’s flames: PHOTOS

    It ain’t over till it’s over.
    Post 2 Morgantown proved that against Post 17 Fairmont Friday night in the second day of action in the Area II American Legion tournament, Fairmont falling, 7-6, late to Morgantown.
    After Fairmont found itself leading 6-5 heading into the eighth inning, momentum shifted hands.

    July 26, 2014 8 Photos

  • Post 17 falls late to Morgantown

    It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.

    July 25, 2014

Featured Ads
Prep Sports Highlights
NDN Sports
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos