Cover photo by WV Sports Photography for RSN Sports
By Rich Stevens
The final point scored was the decisive one in Fairmont Senior’s 48-47 Class AA boys state high school tournament victory over Bridgeport.
It came on a free throw following a technical, but the Indians saw multiple opportunities pass by in the waning moments of Friday’s Class AA boys state high school tournament semifinal.
Fairmont Senior (22-5) will play for the Class AA title for the third time in four seasons when it faces the winner of the Poca-Wyoming East contest at noon on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Bridgeport (23-3) coach Mike Robey, whose team missed a chance for the three-game sweep of the Polar Bears this season, was incredulous about a technical foul in the last minute.
“I guess that’s the official’s call and that’s the call,” Robey said.
Bridgeport’s Logan Smith intercepted a Fairmont Senior inbound with 28.5 seconds left in a 47-47 game. Fairmont freshman Zyon Dobbs tied up Smith, leading to a whistle for a held ball. A second whistle for a technical foul on Smith immediately followed.
Smith made contact with Dobbs during a deadball, resulting in the technical foul. An intentional foul could also have been called, according to the rulebook, but would have the same result – two foul shots and possession.
“A couple things happened that personally, I never seen before,” Robey said. “I asked if I could talk to him and he said, ‘Yes sir.’ I said, a technical? A technical for what? Did my kid say something? ‘No coach. He made contact with him after I called the jump ball.’
“We teach our kids to rip the ball. We do that every day in practice. He said our kid made contact with him after he called the jump ball. I guess that’s the official’s call and that’s the call.”
Smith, who received the technical, said, “Zyon Dobbs tried to steal the ball, I ripped through like I was supposed to, Zyon fell. I don’t really know how that’s a technical, but he teed me up.”
Fairmont Senior’s Darhius Nunn hit one of the two foul shots and Smith got another steal, setting up Bridgeport for a potential game-winner.
The Indians called timeout with 10.5 seconds left, but the Polar Bears knocked it away with 4.5 left. A final chance was also quelled by Fairmont Senior.
The technical happened near Fairmont Senior coach Dave Retton, who explained what he saw.
“I saw our guys do a great job, our guys maintain our composure, they called the technical and we made one,” Retton said. “That’s what I saw and I liked what I saw.”
The play was merely the exclamation point on a game that featured multiple missed chances.
The teams combined to shoot 57 percent from the free throw line and Bridgeport held Fairmont Senior to four points in the fourth quarter while climbing back from a deficit that reached nine points in the third.
There were nine lead changes in the hard-fought third meeting between the two teams this season. Bridgeport won the first two by a combined 20 points.
Nunn led Fairmont Senior with 15 points, 10 rebounds, six steals and four assists, while Brennan Moorehead added 10 points. Dobbs had nine rebounds.
Bonamico’s 14 points led the way for Bridgeport, which also received 12 points from Smith and 11 from Nick Greely, who was held to 10 points below his season average.
Fairmont Senior, making its fourth straight state tournament as a Class AA program, fell to Poca in last year’s championship. This season, the Polar Bears routed Wyoming East 101-52 in the season opener before losing to the Dots in the Cardinal-Big 10 Challenge at West Virginia State University eight days later.
The Polar Bears have reached the state tournament in Class AAA and Class AA a combined 33 times with five championships in Class AAA. Fairmont Senior still seeks its first double-A crown.