The Times West Virginian

Prep Sports

December 14, 2013

Opron’s double-double leads Huskies over No. 5 FSHS: PHOTOS

RACHEL — It all came down to one play.

It wasn’t a buzzer-beater nor was it in the final seconds, but when North Marion’s Chase Banker dribbled out of trouble and found center Cody Opron underneath the basket for a score late in the fourth quarter, it put the Huskies in a great position.

Homestanding North Marion (1-0 overall and in the Big 10) took a six-point lead on the play and went on to beat No. 5 Fairmont Senior, 57-48, in the season opener for both teams Friday night.

“I thought that obviously was a big play,” North Marion coach Chris Freeman said. “That six-point advantage gave us enough of a cushion where it forced them to take some outside shots, and we were able to contest those and get long rebounds. That did kind of separate the game there a little bit.”

Opron, a 6-foot-7 senior, recorded a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

“West Side played really good tonight,” Opron said. “In the first quarter we were sloppy, but there at the end we buckled down and just played hard.”

Fairmont Senior (0-1) kept the Huskies’ big man in check early in the game, though, but that could’ve been because the rest of North Marion’s starters weren’t hitting much of anything it seemed.

“There were a lot of jitters. It was a big game,” Freeman said of the first half. “It was a heck of a way to start the season, with a matchup like that right off the bat.”

The game was expected to be a dog fight, and it was just that.

The Huskies and Polar Bears were nearly even the entire first half, with both teams exchanging buckets en route to a 18-17 score in favor of the Polar Bears.

In the second half, though, Banker came out fired up.

The 6-foot-1 senior scored the Huskies’ first six points of the half, doubling what he had in the first half.

“Chase and Cody, they’ve got to lead us,” Freeman said of his seniors. “They’ve been with me for really four years. They’re expected to step up and make big plays, and that’s what Chase did.”

Banker ended with 12 points and seven rebounds.

After Banker ignited the Huskies, the Polar Bears continued to stick right with them, as guards Tavon Horton and Darhius Nunn began to settle in.

“You have to give Fairmont credit,” Freeman said. “Those guys played hard. They were active and aggressive.”

When Horton went out with foul trouble early in the second half, the Polar Bears turned to Nunn and Ike Childers to carry the load.

Childers, who struggled shooting in the first half, led the Polar Bears with 13 points.

When Horton finally came back in the game, it was too little, too late as the Huskies moved ahead for good in the final minutes.

To start the season off with a double-double and a win over a top five team, Opron said, is awesome.

“It’s a great feeling to come out the first game of your senior season and get that,” he said.

Cole Richards and Matt Martin each scored double figures for the Huskies with 13 and 10, respectively. Horton and Nunn each scored 10 for Fairmont Senior.

The win for the Huskies gives them an edge in the eyes of the poll voters maybe, but they won’t be able to celebrate too long, said Freeman.

“We don’t have a long time to celebrate this; we’ve got to play again (tonight) against Weir, so we’ve got to go home and get some rest and get ready to go,” Freeman said.

The Huskies will host Weir tonight at 6, while Fairmont Senior is back in action on Dec. 18 when it hosts Liberty (Harrison).

Email Matt Welch at mwelch@timeswv.com or follow on Twitter @MattWelch_TWV.

1
Text Only
Prep Sports
  • 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

  • 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.

    July 23, 2014

  • Different stressors lead to multiple issues for athletes

    Juggling multiple things as a teenager is never an easy task and can be quite taxing on your body — mentally and physically.
    There are many psychological and sociological reasons why teens participate in multiple sports or why they choose to specialize in one particular sport.

    July 20, 2014

  • Question marks linger at RB position for Bees

    Players come and go but when they leave, question marks are left behind.
    That’s the case for the East Fairmont football team as August quickly approaches.
    Last year the Bees leaned on a core of running backs to strengthen both the passing and ground attacks, with backs like Scotty Shroyer and Ronnie Mills lining up at all different kinds of positions.

    July 19, 2014

  • Boddy handoff mw.jpg Boddy poised to make leap to feature back

    It takes a unique skillset to do what Malik Boddy does for the Fairmont Senior football team.
    The running back/defensive back/return specialist steps into a more called-upon roll this season for the Polar Bears.
    But before you look at this season’s workload, you must look back on his past roles.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • (MAIN) Taylor kicking-MW.jpg Buonamici hopes to follow in Knight's footsteps

    “I’ve got to end it on a make,” Taylor Buonamici said after the ball she kicked narrowly missed the uprights at Duvall-Rosier Field.
    She placed the football back onto the tee, sized up the yellow field goal posts, took a deep breath and began her trek.
    Three steps back, two steps to the right.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Redmond comfortable leading Huskies’ power running game

    Football is known by many to be the sport of traditions.
    For North Marion’s football team, that tradition is being a smashmouth, downhill, physical football team. And that starts with the players carrying the football.

    July 15, 2014

  • Balance key to preventing youth sports burnout

    Unless you’ve just won a NASCAR race, burning out is not a good thing.
    All too often it seems that athletes are being pushed to a highly competitive level at a younger age each and every year.
    Studies from the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine have shown that an estimated 27 million youth in the United States between the ages of 6 and 18 play team sports; 60 million play at least one sport and 44 million play multiple sports.

    July 13, 2014

  • Bees’ OL poised to lead team in right direction

    Getting your team out of a funk can sometimes be a daunting task.
    For East Fairmont’s football team, it may seem that overcoming a 3-7 season could be a hard-fought battle. But don’t tell the offensive line that.
    “We just want to set a standard,” senior offensive lineman Jacob Brown said.

    July 12, 2014

  • One step closer to dream, Kesling signs with Garrett

    Getting where you want to be is a process. Fairmont Senior’s Johnny Kesling knows that.
    For Kesling, the next step in reaching the ranks of Division I baseball is to fine tune his skills.
    Kesling took that step Friday, signing to play baseball with Garrett County Community College, a junior college in Maryland.

    July 12, 2014

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