Mohigans trim FSHS on Prim buzzer-beater
Payback for MHS, 65-63
Jim Moore/The Dominion Post

Morgantown High's Seth Fogarty (left) keeps the ball out of the reach of Fairmont Senior's Drew Hannah.


The Dominion Post

For 35 days, Fairmont Senior and Morgantown were on a collision course stemming from a 81-62 walloping the Polar Bears administered to the Mohigans on Jan. 18.

Both teams were hot -- Fairmont Senior 20-1 overall, while MHS hadn't lost since.

Friday night's meeting between the No. 4-ranked Polar Bears and the No. 5-ranked Mohigans couldn't possibly live up to the hype that was increasing exponentially.

And it didn't. It managed to top it.

Bobby Prim's free-throw-line jumper with under 1.4 seconds remaining carried the Mohigans to a 65-63 victory over Fairmont Senior and triggered a frenzied celebration culminated by the student body carrying Prim out of the gymnasium.

"It was the best shot I took all night," said Prim, who finished with 15 points. "It felt great coming out of my hands. It looked good and it went in -- thank God -- and after it went in, it as a incredible feeling. Senior Night, my next-to-last game on th e home court, probably our biggest win of the year, if not ever."

But the story could have been quite different. MHS raced to an 11-0 lead and pushed it as high as 18 points, when Prim fed Justin Vidovich for a massive two-handed dunk in the second quarter.

But the lead was trimmed to 13 points at the start of the fourth quarter. Morgantown's run-and-gun style created plenty of possessions for Fairmont Senior and an opportunity to chip away. Head coach Tom Yester knew no lead was certain.

"Heavens, no," Yester said. "If we would have had a 30-point lead, I wouldn't have been confident. I know that team. They were not going to quit. They know how to play when they're behind."

The Polar Bears opened the final quarter with a 14-4 run and trailed by just one point before Prim made two free throws. On the next possession, Will Bridges missed an open 3-pointer, but was grazed by MHS's Ronnie Shaver on the play. Bridges made all three free throws to tie the game and set up a dramatic finish.

Prim took an inbound pass at half court and calmly dribbled inside the perimeter under the watch of Stephen Sutherland. A little left-right shake gave Prim room to shoot. Upon release, Prim kept the right hand up and extended as he back-pedaled down court.

When the buzzer sounded, Prim stood alone, fist raised victoriously.

"When they threw the ball in to Bobby, I could see it in his eyes," Shaver said. "I've seen that look plenty of times before. You could see he wanted it and he was going to take that shot. We definitely wanted Bobby with the ball at a time like that."

Much of Morgantown's success Friday could be attributed to containing Bridges and center Cornelius Dillard. The duo combined for 50 points in the previous meeting -- Bridges scored 20 of his game-best 26 in the decisive second half.

Neither scored in the first half Friday and each finished with nine points, though they were key to the comeback.

"We tried to keep Bridges out of the lane and make him shoot over top of us," said Prim, who was responsible for Bridges picking up three first-half fouls. "When he penetrates, he's at his best. And Dillard, we tried to keep him off the boards because he killed us with offensive rebounds last time."

MHS has won nine straight games by an average of 18 points. And with the momentum considerable after Prim dismissed the Polar Bears, MHS is climbing up to join the state's elite.

"This is probably the best we've been playing all year," Prim said. "We're on a nine-game winning streak. We beat the No. 1 team in the power polls. This should give us a lot of confidence going into tournament time. We feel we should be able to go to states and make some noise in the tournament."

Box score


Dillard 3 3-4 9, Stanley 3 2-3 9, Bridges 2 4-5 9, Hannah 9 4-6 22, Sutherland 4 0-0 12, Minutelli 0 2-2 2, Kettering 0 0-0 0, Whiting 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 15-20 63.

MORGANTOWN (17-3, 12-2 NCAC)

Prim 6 2-2 15, Shaver 7 0-0 14, Vidovich 9 0-0 19, Hedges 3 2-3 9, Fogarty 1 0-2 3, Rodamer 1 1-1 3, Dalton 0 0-0 0, Murray 0 0-0 0, Simpson 1 0-0 2, Williams 0 0-0 0. Totals 28 5-8 65.

Fairmont Senior12 13 19 19 -- 63

Morgantown20 15 22 8 -- 65

3-point goals--Fairmont Senior 6 (Sutherland 4, Stanley 1, Bridges 1), Morgantown 4 (Prim, Vidovich, Hedges, Fogarty).