Polar Bears ice MHS
Bridges, Dillard dump 50 points on Mohigans

The Dominion Post

FAIRMONT -- The greatest show in Fairmont was on display Friday night, at the Woody Williams Armory.

Featuring Will Bridges and Cornelius Dillard, Fairmont Senior was running and gunning, rebounding and dunking and putting a hurting on Morgantown.

The No. 5-ranked Polar Bears ran away with an 81-62 NCAC victory against the No. 9-ranked Mohigans with Bridges and Dillard combining to score 50 points.

"Will and I both saw we were on fire and they couldn't keep up with us," Dillard said. "We were like, we're going to take it to them and keep it up because we must get this win."

Dillard punctuated the victory by converting a Stephen Sutherland lob pass for a two-handed dunk in the fourth quarter to give Fairmont Senior (11-0, 6-0) a 74-56 lead against MHS (8-3, 4-2) with 2:22 remaining.

"I saw Corny coming down and I knew all I had to do was throw it anywhere near the rim and he'll get it," said Sutherland, who made three 3-pointers en route to scoring 11 points.

"He jumps high enough. Coach (David Retton) was screaming to throw the lob."

Bridges scored 20 of his game-high 26 points in the second half. With pull-up jumpers and short leaners in the lane off dribble penetration, Bridges was virtually unstoppable.

"In the first half, Coach told me he knew I wasn't playing the way I was capable of playing," said Bridges, who turns 18 years old today. "Coming into halftime, I had my head down, but being the coach that he is, he gave me a lot of confidence.

"He said I was a better player than that and to go out and play," he continued. "I came back strong in the second half, confident and finished the game."

Dillard scored 24 points, hitting two of Fairmont Senior's eight 3-point shots. He and John Stanley were mostly responsible for Fairmont Senior nearly doubling Morgantown in rebounding.

"They killed us on the boards," MHS center Nick Hedges said. "We come down and get one shot and that was it. They go down and get four or five chances. We just weren't getting a body on guys. They're a lot more athletic than we are. We had to push them out of the way and we didn't."

Hedges scored a team-high 22 points, making five shots from behind the 3-point line. Bobby Prim added 11.

The Mohigans will have their chance to redeem the loss when the two teams face each other Feb. 22, at MHS.

"I know we can play much better than that," Hedges said. "It's frustrating, but I just have to put it behind me. I expect to see these guys in the regional tournament. We still have one more game against them in Morgantown.

"It's why we play the regular season," Hedges continued. "It's why we play them twice, so we can figure out a way to beat them. I know we can, but we just have to play a lot better."

MHS has lost two of its last three games to ranked opponents -- No. 2 Martinsburg and Fairmont Senior. The Mohigans play host to Buckhannon-Upshur on Wednesday.

Box score


MORGANTOWN (8-3, 4-2)

Hedges 8 2-5 22, Prim 5 0-0 11, Shaver 2 0-0 5, Vidovich 1 0-0 3, Dalton 1 0-0 2, Fogarty 2 3-6 7, Murray 1 0-0 3, Rodamer 1 0-0 2, Simpson 2 2-2 6, Williams 0 0-0 0, Law 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 7-13 62.


Dillard 11 0-0 24, Myles 1 0-0 2, Kettering 0 2-2 2, Stanley 3 0-0 8, Minutelli 1 0-0 2, Cimaglia 0 0-0 0, Whitney 0 0-0 0, Bridges 10 5-9 26, Hannah 2 2-4 6, Henson 0 0-0 0, Bartie 0 0-0 0, Edwards 0 0-0 0, Sutherland 3 2-2 11. Totals 31 11-17 81.

Morgantown High11 12 21 18 -- 62

Fairmont Senior21 10 23 27 -- 81

3-point goals--Morgantown 9 (Hedges 5, Shaver 1, Vidovich 1, Prim 1, Murray 1), Fairmont Senior 8 (Sutherland 3, Dillard 2, Stanley 2, Bridges 1). Fouled out-Hedges.