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Fairmont Senior holds off Robert C. Byrd, 54-46

Fairmont Senior’s Dasilas Jones splits the Robert C. Byrd defense during Saturday’s game.


CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Fairmont Senior held Robert C. Byrd without a field goal for the final 5:10 of Saturday night’s Big 10 Conference clash, allowing the Polar Bears to hold off the Eagles for a 54-46 victory.

After a Khori Miles leaner pulled RCB (5-2) to within 48-44, Fairmont Senior (7-1) outscored the Eagles 6-2 down the stretch to preserve the win. 

“We got back on defense and we found their shooters,” Fairmont Senior coach David Retton said. “(Tanner) Kennedy had an excellent second half for them and Miles had a great first half. But we found their shooters and did a good job on their handoffs. We got guys on the boards and consequently were able to get the ball up the floor, into the offense and take some time off the clock.”

A Zyon Dobbs layup with 1:10 remaining marked the only late game field goal for FSHS, but the Polar Bears made four free throws to help seal the verdict.

Bryson Lucas’ two free throws with 1:28 remaining marked the Eagles’ only points over the final 5:10 and cut their deficit to 51-46 at the time.

The first quarter was the biggest difference in the contest, with the Polar Bears outscoring the Eagles 16-8. Jalen Bridges scored seven of his game-high 21 points on a 3-pointer and two dunks to help Fairmont Senior start strong, while Dobbs and Dasilas Jones scored inside for the final four points of the quarter to give the Polar Bears an eight-point lead.

“After the first quarter, the remaining three quarters were dead even,” RCB coach Bill Bennett said. “We dug a hole and it takes so much energy, especially when you’re playing them, because they make it hard for you to get open and fight through screens. They just do a lot of things well.”

Fairmont Senior built a 20-8 lead early in the second after a Dobbs layup and two free throws from Jones, but Khori Miles scored five points the rest of the quarter to help the Eagles stay within striking distance and enter halftime facing a 27-18 deficit.

Dobbs had nine points to go with four rebounds and four assists at halftime, while Miles accounted for half of his team’s point total.

After scoring two points in the opening half, RCB guard Tanner Kennedy found the hot hand in the third quarter. Kennedy scored 12 consecutive points for the Eagles to lead a 12-5 run and his second 3 of the quarter cut the FSHS lead to 37-32.

However, the Polar Bears answered with a 6-0 run that featured four points from Bridges and a Dobbs dunk, before Blake Meighen made a 3 for the final points of the period to bring the Eagles to within eight.

Bridges’ 3 early in the fourth quarter upped the FSHS lead to 46-36 and the Polar Bears’ defense handled matters from there.

“Byrd played an outstanding game,” Retton said. “They spread us out and played similar to how East Fairmont played us. They’re a really good team. 

“We picked up a lead and I think our guys got complacement and thought the game was going to be easier. Byrd started the third quarter well and I’m pleased with how we finished the game.”

Bridges scored seven points in both the third and fourth quarters and made 7-of-12 shots for his game-high 21 points. Dobbs also had a strong performance with 17 points, six assists and five boards. 

“He’s a four-year starter for us. He’s an outstanding leader and tonight when we needed him to make plays, he made plays,” Retton said.

Jones chipped in with 10 points and four assists in the win.

Kennedy’s 18 points led the Eagles, while Miles had 13 points and six rebounds.

“They’re well coached and a veteran team and we still have a lot of pups out there,” Bennett said. “That being said, I still think we’re really close.”

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