Like fire and ice

West Fairmont’s Matt Pellillo (right) drives around North Marion’s Desean Aaron during the Polar Bears’ 73-44 win Tuesday.

It was the kind of basketball game one coach loves and the other dreads.

Everything went right for David Retton’s West Fairmont Polar Bears while it was almost the opposite for Andy Sorine and the North Marion Huskies.

The Polar Bears started out on fire while the Huskies’ shooting was as cold as the snow falling outside the Woody Williams Armory Tuesday as West cruised to a 73-44 blowout victory over North.

“We started out very well and fed off that the whole game,” Retton said. “It is really hard to single out one guy because everyone did such a great job. We hit some big shots early, and that just got momentum on our side.”

Sorine felt the same way.

“I thought (West) came out really charged up,” he said. “When you get some early shots to go, that really charges you up. I thought we played a good first quarter, but they were just a step above us in quickness and energy tonight.”

It was Zac McCullough and Nathan Angeline doing the damage early for West.

North only held two leads in the ballgame — 2-0, when the Huskies’ Tyler Tobin scored on a driving layup to open the contest, and 5-3 a minute late. After that, it was all Polar Bears.

McCullough sank the first three shots for West, pushing the Polar Bears to a 7-5 lead. North would manage to tie it a 7-all with a pair of Dusty Earl free throws, but that was the last time the Huskies were even.

Angeline finished the first quarter with his second 3-pointer of the game to give the Bears a 23-14 lead after one.

In the second quarter, the West defense clamped down, and the Huskies went ice-cold.

North only managed four points in the 8-minute span — a 3-pointer by Tobin and a free throw by Sam Smith.

The low output let the Bears blow open the game, taking a 19-point lead into the locker room at halftime. And the rout was on.

“I was talking to Coach Sorine before the game, and we really though this was a game that could go either way the way we’ve been playing. It could have been a blowout on either side,” Retton said. “But tonight they were off, and we were on.”

The second half saw more of the same as both teams went deep into their respective benches as the game got out of hand. The Bears’ lead ballooned to as many as 34 (65-31) in the fourth quarter. North’s Chris Young closed out the game with a 3-pointer to produce the final score.

McCullough led the Bears with 28 points. Angeline added 12 and Bregan Besedich eight.

North only had one player reach double figures — Cody Hockenberry with 10. Tobin finished with eight points and Smith added seven.

“They had a good start, and it only got worse for us,” Sorine said. “They really fed off that. We played the whole bench late because we have to get some production. When the other players aren’t producing, we have to try and bring in someone who will.”

The Polar Bears (5-5, 3-3 in the North Central Athletic Conference) will return to action on Thursday when they travel to Morgantown to take on the Morgantown Mohigans.

North Marion (3-7, 2-4 in the NCAC) will visit Marion County rival East Fairmont on Thursday as well.

E-mail Mike Bowen at

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