The Bottom Line
By Bill Nestor
This past week the West Virginia State Boys Basketball tournament was held in Charleston. Three Harrison County teams made the field and despite none of them winning the ultimate prize, they represented the county well. In West Virginia’s version of “March Madness” Bridgeport, Notre Dame, and Robert C. Byrd all provided solid efforts.
Bridgeport earned an opening round win over Ravenswood 50-28. The Indians broke open a close game by outscoring the Red Devils 32-10 in the second half. The tribe dominated the lane as Nick Greely and Hunter Haddix combined for 30 points and 18 rebounds.
Bridgeport’s defense was smothering as the Tribe scored 18 points off of turnovers and allowed just one made basket in the fourth quarter. Ravenswood would out produce a double digit scorer in the outing.
The win brought a third match-up this season with Fairmont Senior. The Indians squeaked out a pair of narrow wins previously but would fall to the Polar Bears in the semifinal contest 48-47. The ending of the affair was controversial, as a technical foul resulted in the game winning point that ended the Tribes season at 23-3.
The Indians trailed by eight points heading into the final period but they roared back to tie the contest with two minutes to play. Fairmont Senior held the ball for all but 30 seconds before a jump ball was forced that led to the technical foul.
The Indians had three players in double figures paced by Dante Bonamico’s 14 points. Logan Smith was perfect from the floor, adding 12 points and six rebounds. Nick Greely chipped in with 11 points, Hunter Haddix hauled in a team high seven rebounds and blocked a game high five shots in the loss.
Notre Dame lost a heartbreaker to eventual State Champion St. Joseph (Huntington) 54-50. The question of what could have been was echoed by fighting Irish fans that saw their team hold an eight point lead in the fourth quarter. The foul line was the Achilles heel for Notre Dame as they would convert on only 6 of 14 attempts in the affair.
Jarrod West led the Fighting Irish with 19 points, five assists and two steals. Jordan Miller had eight points, six rebounds and Noah Bohanna chipped in with six points and a team high seven rebounds in the loss. Notre Dame finished its season with a 20-3 mark.
Robert C. Byrd and Wyoming East had split a pair of regular season matchups and the rubber match took place in the opening round of the state tournament. The Warriors would earn a 51-48 win over the Flying Eagles.
Robert C. Byrd fell behind by nine points at the break as shooting woes netted a pair of single digit scoring quarters to start the contest.
A strong defensive effort put them in position to claim the win but shooting once again became an issue. The foul line was unkind as the Flying Eagles would convert on just 12 of 23 attempts.
Robert C. Byrd was led by Dante Spears (18 points and seven steals), Luke Dyer (15 points and six rebounds) and Tre Junkins (11 rebounds). The Flying Eagles ended their season with a 19-6 record.
Congratulations to Fairmont Senior and Head Coach Dave Retton for earning the Class AA crown. The Polar Bears earned a 55-37 victory over defending State Champion Poca. It was a rematch of last year’s championship tilt. Fairmont Senior left no doubt as they never trailed in this affair.
Retton is one of the “good guys” in the sport and it was justice served after last year’s heartbreaker. I had the opportunity to broadcast five games at the armory in Fairmont this season and the first person to greet me was always Coach Retton. This win proves that nice guys can finish first!
That will do it for now. Until next week…take care and God Bless!