Polar Bears chill Tigers, 79-40

FAIRMONT — Elkins’ Elliot White was the game’s leading scorer Wednesday, but it wasn’t enough to stop Class AA No. 1 ranked Fairmont Senior from beating the Tigers, 79-40, and remaining undefeated in boys varsity basketball action.

“They worked us pretty good,” EHS coach Brandon Simmons said. “They’re a good team. They’re back to back state champs and they’ve got a good shot at repeating this year. They’re tough.”

White set the pace for EHS with 23 points. Luke Swecker, 7 points, Read Schumacher and Ean Winans, 3 points each, and Donovan Wiles and Brayden Davis, 2 points each, rounded out the scoring for Elkins.

Four Polar Bears reached double digits in scoring. Taevon Horton led the way with 15 points, while Jalen Bridges added 14 points, Dante Stills chipped in 13 points and Jaelin Johnson recorded 10 points.

“The first half, we went out there and we were a little bit shell shocked,” Simmons said. “We weren’t playing our game and we wasn’t getting into a rhythm. (WVU head coach Bob) Huggins was in the building, so everyone was on edge for some reason. We just wasn’t playing our game. They got us out of what we were trying to do. Offensively, we couldn’t get anything going.”

FSHS took a commanding 26-13 lead after the first quarter of play. The second quarter didn’t go much better for the Tigers as they only added 2 points to make the halftime tally 48-15. EHS played much better in the second half but couldn’t overcome the early deficit.

“They played super-aggressive defense,” Simmons said. “They didn’t press much, which surprised me. We were trying to start our offense a step across half court. It’s hard to run an offense from 40 feet away from the basket. We just weren’t getting into our stuff. They did a good job of pressuring us. They had their hands up and got a lot of deflections and a lot of steals. They hurt us big time on the boards. That’s kind of been our Achilles’ heel this year.”

Elkins (7-4) is scheduled to travel to Robert C. Byrd on Friday.

Junior varsity action is set to tipoff at 6 p.m. and the varsity game will get underway at 7:30 p.m