Fairmont Senior tops Ravenswood

RAVENSWOOD-No. 6 (Class AA) Fairmont Senior had too much height for No. 13 Ravenswood to handle as the Polar Bears (18-6) eliminated the Red Devils (16-8) from tournament play with a 57-45 victory in the Region I championship game held at The Pit Thursday night.

“I was just telling the girls that you can teach a lot of things, but you can’t teach height,” said Ravenswood head coach Cara Williams. “They (Fairmont Senior) just got too many easy buckets inside and we couldn’t seem to buy a shot.”

Sophomores Emily Stoller and Kaden Whaley combined for 37 points and 17 rebounds as Fairmont Senior advances to next week’s Class AA girls state basketball tournament at the Charleston Civic Center. The day, time and opponent for the Polar Bears’ first round game will be decided at noon on Sunday at the WVSSAC’s office on W.Va. 47.

“You can’t say enough about the job our girls did defensively,” said Fairmont Senior head coach Corey Hines. “Add to that the play of Emily (Stoller) and Kaden (Whaley) as well as Jenny (Bundy) hitting some big free throws down the stretch and you can see why this was a real team victory tonight.”

Fairmont Senior, which had dealt the Red Devils a 47-45 loss back on Feb. 8, opened with an aggressive man-to-man attack on defense causing Ravenswood to misfire on six of its first seven shots from the field.

Despite the cold shooting, however, Ravenswood found itself in a tie game, 8-8, with 2:21 remaining in the opening period of play. A pair of free throws by the Polar Bears’ Whaley, who finished with 17 points on the night, ignited a 6-0 run by the visitors down the stretch and a Whaley layin off of a Stoller pass gave the visitors a 14-8 advantage heading into the second quarter of action.

A rebound bucket by the Red Devils’ Kayla Scritchfield sliced the margin to four, 14-10, with 6:20 left until the intermission and the two teams would trade buckets until a Hannah Murray deuce with 3:27 showing on the clock brought the hosts back to within two, 18-16.

Again the Polar Bears answered as a Stoller bucket at the 2:03 mark started a 5-0 run by the Marion County team that sent Fairmont Senior to the locker rooms leading by five, 23-16.

A margin it would keep after both teams tallied 16 points in the third quarter.

Trailing 39-32, Ravenswood’s Miller, who finished with a game-high 23 points, put back a missed shot to pull the Red Devils to within five, 39-34, but those would be the last points scored by the hosts for the next four minutes while Fairmont Senior made the most of their rivals’ drought, going on a 12-0 spurt to forge a 53-34 lead on a Jasmine Johnson bucket with three minutes left in the game.

It would get not closer as Stoller finished with 20 points and nine rebounds while Johnson and Gabrielle Tenney chipped in seven points apiece and Bundy added six. Other than Miller no other Red Devil finished with double-figures as Taylor Youell chipped in with six points and Taylor Treadway added five.