CHAPMANVILLE, W.Va. — Devin Collins made a pair of free throws with 29 seconds remaining to give Chapmanville a one-point lead, and the Tigers made it stand in a 49-46 victory against Fairmont Senior in Saturday night’s Bob Runyon Memorial Holiday Tournament championship.
“I was on a radio show this morning and I kind of told the guys everybody’s expecting a high-scoring game and don’t be surprised if this thing is a defensive struggle,” Chapmanville coach Brad Napier said. “When you have that many big, tall, long athletic guys on the floor at one time, sometimes that court becomes real small and I think that was a lot of it tonight.”
The Polar Bears (5-1) had a chance to regain the lead late, but Zyon Dobbs’ turnover gave the Tigers (5-0) the ball back with seven seconds to play. Andrew Shull made two free throws with 5.3 seconds left and Jalen Bridges’ 3-point attempt to tie it at the buzzer missed off the rim.
“Our guys are winners and they love to compete. They competed to win and that’s the objective and we didn’t get that tonight, but our guys played their butts off,” FSHS coach David Retton said. “They really did.”
Chapmanville began the fourth quarter with a 38-33 advantage, but Dobbs made 1-of-2 free throws with 5:59 left to tie the game at 38. Collins and Trey Washenitz traded 3s to keep it tied at 41, before Brandon Elkins scored on a drive to the basket.
“We had different guys step up tonight in big moments and that’s sort of what I’ve been waiting for and to see if these guys are going to do that in front of 2,000 people,” Napier said.
Bridges answered with a 3 to give Fairmont Senior a 44-43 lead, but Obinna Anochili-Killen scored inside to put the Tigers up one point. Dobbs scored from close range to put the Polar Bears in front, but Jaelin Johnson misfired on the front end of a 1-and-1 with 42 seconds remaining that could have added to the lead.
In a rematch of the 2018 Class AA state championship won by Champanville, Dasilas Jones’ 10 first-quarter points paced Fairmont Senior to a 16-8 lead.
“Both teams played extremely hard. We got off to a slow start because it’s so hard to simulate their speed and athleticism,” Napier said. “You just don’t see it much and it took us a while to adjust.”
However, the Tigers cut the deficit in half in the second quarter to trail 27-23 at the break.
Chapmanville got a 3 from Shull and two free throws by Collins to go ahead 28-27 1:45 into the second half, and Philip Mullins scored five straight points later in the quarter to give the Tigers a 35-31 lead.
A Jordan Kish trey closed the third quarter scoring and gave Chapmanville its biggest lead of the night at five points.
“In a 170 or 180 possession game, two or three don’t matter really. They all matter, but when you have a high volume number of plays, they matter less,” Retton said. “In this game, you have a short volume number of plays and they’re that much more valuable.”
Mullins led Chapmanville with 14 points, while Collins added 12 and Shull scored nine. The Tigers made 18-of-38 field-goal attempts to shoot better than 47 percent in the win.
Jones led Fairmont Senior with 16 points while Bridges scored 10 and Dobbs had 11 assists.