By Matt Welch
Times West Virginian
PLEASANT VALLEY —
East Fairmont’s boys’ basketball team wanted to end its regular season on a high note. On Thursday night at East Fairmont High School, the Bees ended their season in a crescendo with a victory over Webster County to the tune of 70-58.
The difference in the game was the first quarter for East Fairmont (9-11). East’s big man, sophomore Nick Greely, scored 15 points in the opening quarter to set the tone.
“I was real happy in the first half with our offensive effort. We made very, very good decisions with the basketball and got some good looks,” East Fairmont coach Tyrone Asterino said of the fast start. “Nick was playing extremely well early in the game and that helps when he gets off to a quick start.”
An 11-2 run, sparked by nine points from Greely, led to an eventual 21-8 first-quarter lead.
Greely said knowing that he and his team had lost to Webster last time out, it was time for some revenge.
“In the first game that we lost to them, I didn’t play so great up there,” Greely said. “So I knew I had to come out and dominate and work them, and that’s what I did.”
When Webster County (8-14) had finally had enough of the 6-foot-6 center scoring at will, they decided to double-team him. That didn’t work either as Greely found his teammates open for shots of their own.
“I just knew they were coming so I knew someone was open,” Greely said. “If I saw them coming and starting to collapse, I just kicked it out.”
Greely would go on to post a double-double of 31 points and 12 rebounds despite constant double- and triple-teams. Joining the sophomore in double figures for the game were Myles Johnson and Brennon Vincent with 11 points each. Johnson also added 13 rebounds in the win.
After a fast start from the Bees, Webster County would rally back in the fourth quarter, pulling within 12 points.
With 1:21 left in the game, however, the Highlanders were forced to start fouling. Already in the double bonus, the Bees took advantage by drilling 8-of-12 from the charity stripe to hold on.
“I’m pleased with that. It was real big for the simple reason that we need to be able to knock down free throws at crunch time,” Asterino said of the final stretch of the game. “By doing that we’re able to keep a little bit of a distance between us and them.”
Despite outscoring East Fairmont, 29-18, Webster County, led by Robbie Cogar’s 19 points, couldn’t overcome the Bees for the win.
“Now your regular season is finished and it’s time to get ready to see who can advance in the (sectional) tournament,” Asterino said. “It was a good game to get ourselves right before we head into that tournament.”
The Bees will travel to play North Marion Tuesday in the sectional tournament with a 7 p.m. tipoff.
Email Matt Welch at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @MattWelch_TWV.