By Mike DeFabo
Times West Virginian
It started with a quiet murmur.
But with each basket, the buzz from Fairmont Senior bleachers grew and grew, escalating into a “100! 100! 100!” cheer. And then, when freshman Colby Thorne swished a mid-range jumper to put the Lady Polar Bears over the century mark for the first time in school history, the Woody Williams Armory erupted in celebration.
The high-fiving and congratulatory pats on the back continued after the final seconds ran off the clock and No. 2 Fairmont Senior walked to the locker room winners of a 101-61 contest over crosstown rival East Fairmont.
“We really wanted to drop 100 on somebody this season,” said junior Emily Stoller, who scored a season-high 30 points. “It was nice to get it against our rival.”
Ty Horton also scored a career-high in the blowout. Using her speed and a soft touch in the paint, the sophomore scored 26 points, including an and-one that had Fairmont Senior coach Corey Hines pumping his fist.
“I’ve never scored like that in my life,” Horton said.
Kaden Whaley also scored in double figures. Her 15 points— plus the Polar Bears’ full-court trap defense that forced 30 turnovers — helped the team complete the season sweep of the Big 10 foe. When the two teams met for the first time on Dec. 10, Fairmont Senior walked away with a 66-20 win.
East Fairmont coach James Beckman said that while the score was lopsided, he saw an improvement in his team this time around.
“I think we've made big steps since Dec. 10. We played with a lot of heart out there,” he said. “We battled every possession. We talked about putting four quarters together, and these girls played as hard as they could.”
For the Bees (6-7), Felicity VanGilder scored 16 points, Brooklynn Weaver dropped 13, Peyton Ryan netted 12 and Megan Nuzum put up nine.
“Offensively, we went from 20 points to 61,” Beckman said. “Defensively, we've still got a lot of work to do.”
The Lady Polar Bears (12-1) also celebrated another victory at halftime when they crowned Haley Bailey as “Little Miss Polar Bear” and Arkadi Bowles as “Little Mr. Polar Bear.” The youngsters were just two of the 16 Polar Bear fans who paired with Fairmont Senior players to help the team raise more than $3,500 for the American Cancer Society. Cindy Stoller, who helped to organize the event, said she hopes to continue the fundraiser next season.
As for the Polar Bears on the court, they will look to follow up their historic performance Tuesday when they travel to Lewis County for a make-up game. East Fairmont, meanwhile, returns to the court Saturday when it hosts Liberty (Raleigh) at 4 p.m.
“We'll learn from it,” Beckman said. “We'll regroup tomorrow and get ready for Liberty Raleigh.”
Email Mike DeFabo at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @MikeDeFaboTWV.