CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Class AA defending state champion and top seed Fairmont Senior outlasted No. 8 Herbert Hoover 59-39 Thursday in the boys basketball state tournament quarterfinals.
The Polar Bears (23-3) closed the game on an overall 27-10 run and didn’t allow a Herbert Hoover made field goal in the fourth quarter.
“Our guards in the second half were able to get more pressure out on the ball,” said Fairmont Senior coach Dave Retton. “They’re a very pattern team and we didn’t do a good job of taking their pattern away. But the last four or five minutes, we saw our basketball team.
“Herbert Hoover had a lot to do with us not playing as well as we wanted to,” he continued. “Our guys hung in there, we’re advancing and now is not the time to hang our heads and get down about how we played – it’s time to move forward.”
The Polar Bears went just 3 for 16 from 3 and overall shot 41 percent on the night.
“We have a very good 3-point shooting team,” Retton said. “But we were just settling for 3s, we weren’t getting the type of shots that we want – and we’ve seen zones all year. That’s been one of our strengths this year, attacking the zone. But for whatever reason we didn’t do that tonight.”
Fairmont Senior jumped out to a quick start and led 14-3 after the first quarter. Hoover, though, followed with a 15-11 second quarter effort to cut its deficit to 25-18 at the half.
The Huskies (13-14) drew to within three, 32-29, with 2:26 to go in the third after a 3 from Kody McGraw.
The Polar Bears answered with an 11-4 run to extend the lead back out to 10, 43-33, and 7:25 remaining.
It was Herbert Hoover’s first ever trip to the state tournament as a large crowd made its way to the Charleston Civic Center on Thursday to support the Huskies.
“The whole community has really rallied behind this basketball team and I can’t thank them enough for showing up like they did since our sectional game,” said Hoover coach Josh Daniel. “There have been more and more people come each time. For our basketball team to bring a community together like they have the last two weeks is something special.”
The Polar Bears were led by Zyon Dobbs’ 14 points, while Herbert Hoover’s Chase King scored 16 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in the loss.
Fairmont Senior scored 31 points off of 22 Herbert Hoover turnovers, including a 24-0 advantage in fast break points.
The Polar Bears will face either Philip Barbour or Mingo Central in Friday’s semifinals at 7:15 p.m.