FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Five Fairmont Senior players scored in double figures during an efficient offensive effort that saw the Polar Bears shoot nearly 56 percent (34-of-61) and notch their sixth straight win against North Marion 80-66 Friday at the FSHS Armory.
Marley Washenitz led the way with 18 points, while Anysa Jordan added 15 in the victory. Stephanie Vincent and Courtney Wilfong followed with 11 points apiece and Abby Faulkner scored 10, as the Polar Bears (6-1) made 22-of-36 first-half field goals to build a 14-point lead.
“I think sometimes we’re a better team in transition,” Polar Bears coach Corey Hines said. “I keep going back to the first game against Parkersburg (Fairmont Senior’s only loss) and we did a great job transition wise. But we got more patient at times today and that’s what I always want to add to it, because I know in transition we can play well, but I want us to be able to play both ways.”
Wilfong’s 3-pointer to beat the first quarter buzzer allowed Fairmont Senior to hold a 25-19 lead after one quarter despite the Huskies making 7-of-10 field goal attempts.
The Polar Bears picked up the defensive pressure in the second quarter and forced seven North Marion (4-1) turnovers to take control of the game.
Back-to-back layups by Jordan and Bekah Jenkins made it 33-25 with 5:21 to play in the first half and was the start of a key 9-0 run that also included one free throw from Jordan, a Regan Blasher layup and Vincent’s putback.
Hannah Shriver made a pair of free throws to temporarily stop the Fairmont Senior surge, but after Blasher scored from close range moments later the Polar Bears were on top 43-27.
While the Huskies’ Taylor Buonamici scored 11 of her game-high 26 points in the first half, the Polar Bears held a 49-35 lead at the break.
“We let them get to the rim and our plan was to not let them get to the rim,” Huskies coach Michael Parrish said. “They were getting to the rim and finishing and had a big second quarter there.”
The third quarter was realtively even, with the Polar Bears outscoring the Huskies 13-12 to take a 15-point lead into the fourth quarter.
North Marion didn’t go away quietly, however, trimming the deficit to nine on four different occasions in the fourth quarter, the last of which was 72-63 on a Buonamici floater.
“This is like a North Carolina-Duke thing with us now and it’s one of the best rivalries in the state,” Hines said. “They have a top notch program.”
But Faulkner drilled a 3 from the corner with 1:42 remaining to up the Fairmont Senior lead to 12 and the Huskies never got closer the rest of the way.
In addition to its efficient offense, the Polar Bears held a 31-25 rebounding advantage, with Jordan and Morgan Lilley grabbing six apiece in the victory.
“We did an excellent job on the boards and I was really was proud when we got in foul trouble and faced a little adversity, the people that came in off the bench kept it going,” Hines said. “We got good minutes, which was excellent.”
Wilfong also chipped in with four assists, while North Marion’s Hannah Shriver was the team’s only other double figure scorer with 11 points.