CHARLESTON, W.Va. — For more than three quarters, Chapmanville Regional High School’s dream of winning a state championship seemed within grasp.
The Tigers, however, could not withstand a furious Fairmont Senior comeback as the Polar Bears won their second straight Class AA state championship with Saturday’s 59-54 victory over Chapmanville at the Charleston Civic Center.
The Tigers (23-5) led Fairmont by as many as 12 points and after a 24-all tie at halftime, Chapmanville held a 42-35 lead after three quarters of play.
Chapmanville led 46-37 with 6:35 left in the game after a dunk by 6-foot-8 freshman Obinna Killen and seemed to have the title within reach.
Fairmont (25-3), winners of 17 straight games, then stormed back.
A big 3-pointer by Tavon Horton from the corner pulled the Polar Bears to within 50-48 with 2:28 to go.
The Tigers then turned it over and Fairmont’s Jalen Bridges was able to put his team up for good as he drilled a 3 to make it 51-50.
The momentum shift continued as DeAndre Payne stole the ball away from the Tigers and then went into the lane for a layup and was fouled, bringing a roar to the Polar Bears’ fans behind the hoop. Payne added the free throw to complete the three-point play to make it 54-50 Fairmont.
Chapmanville’s Drew Williamson kept the Tigers in it with a free throw with 1:13 left as the Tigers cut it to 54-51.
Chapmanville tried to get the ball back after a Payne miss on a one-and-one but the ball was tied up and the Polar Bears were awarded the ball on the alternating possession rule.
Zyon Dobbs was then fouled with 39 seconds left and he hit both free throws to lift the Polar Bears to a 56-51 lead.
Chapmanville misssed a 3 on its next trip down the floor and Horton was fouled with 21.6 ticks to go. He connected on both free throws as the lead swelled to 58-51 pretty much ending Chapmanville’s hopes of a final minute miracle.
Williamson did hit a 3 with 15.2 seconds left to trim it to 58-54 but the Tigers threw the ball away with 10 seconds left after a tie up. Dobbs split from the foul line with 8.2 ticks left to put the win on ice.
Williamson led Chapmanville with a game-high 26 points. He was 5-for-9 from 3-point land.
Killen had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. He also had five blocked shots and two slam dunks.
Dylan Smith finished with nine points for Chapmanville. Tyler Moore hit a 3-pointer and Kyle Browning and Hunter Neil added two points each.
Neil, a 6-foot-7 senior center, playing his last game for the Tigers, left the game early with an injured knee but returned.
Horton led Fairmont with 16 points, while Bridges had 14.
The Tigers were 20-for-41 shooting from the floor for 49 percent. Fairmont was 19-for-49 for 39 percent. CRHS made 7-of-8 of its free throws. Fairmont netted 14-for-21 from the foul line for 67 percent.
Fairmont outrebounded Chapmanville 28-26.
CRHS fell behind 4-0, 6-4 and 8-6 but the Tigers then caught fire, ending the first quarter with a 14-0 run to grab a commanding 20-8 lead.
Smith and Moore, also playing his last game as a Tiger, each hit a big 3 during the run.
Fairmont then forged a 24-all tie at halftime.
The Tigers then began to pull away again in the third quarter, grabbing a 42-35 lead after three. Williamson hit three big 3-pointers during the period. Killen also put down a big slam dunk, giving the Tigers a 34-27 edge.
After Williamson’s last three the Tigers led 40-30 with 1:44 left in the third.
Williamson and Killen made the all-tournament team along with Fairmont’s Horton, Dobbs and Dante Stills. Mingo Central’s Jeremy Dillon and Drew Hatfield also made it as well as Lincoln’s Chase Riley.
Herbert Hoover won the School Sportsmanship Award.
CRHS was the recipient of the School Spirit Award.
All three of Fairmont’s state tournament wins came against Cardinal Conference teams. On Thursday, the Polar Bears of the Big Ten Conference, toppled No. 8 seed Herbert Hoover. Then on Friday night in the semifinals, Fairmont prevailed 62-44 over Mingo Central.
The Polar Bears had beaten Chapmanville earlier in the season, 72-54, in the Big Ten/Cardinal Conference Challenge at Clarksburg.
Also on Saturday in other state championship games at the Civic Center, Huntington won the Class AAA title game over Capital 50-42; and Clarksburg Notre Dame defeated Ravenswood 63-55 in the Class A state finals.
2016-17 Chapmanville Regional
High School Boys’ Basketball Schedule (23-5, 12-1):
Dec. 10: Mountain Mission, Va., W 64-47
Dec. 13: *at Winfield, W 66-55
Dec. 17: at Fairmont Senior (Big Ten/Cardinal Conference Challenge at RCB), L 54-72
Dec. 22: Mount View (Bob Runyon Memorial Holiday Tournament), W 66-57
Dec. 23: vs. Pikeview (Bob Runyon Memorial Holiday Tournament), W 71-60
Dec. 27: vs. Woodstock, Ga. (Daytona Beach Sunshine Classic at Daytona Beach, Fla.), W 83-76 (OT)
Dec. 29: vs. Atlantic, Fla. (Daytona Beach Sunshine Classic at Daytona Beach, Fla.), L 43-62
Dec. 30: vs. Rowan County, Ky. (Daytona Beach Sunshine Classic at Daytona Beach, Fla.), L 64-72
Jan. 10: *at Sissonville, W 76-56
Jan. 13: *at Scott, W 95-54
Jan. 14: *at Wayne, W 69-48
Jan. 17: *Nitro, W 85-60
Jan. 20:*at Logan, W 67-60
Jan. 27: at Man, W 105-32
Jan. 28: *Poca, W 59-56
Jan. 31: *Herbert Hoover, W 62-49
Feb. 3: *Scott, W 66-38
Feb. 4: *Mingo Central, L 56-59 (2OT)
Feb. 7: Man, W 94-35
Feb. 10: *Logan, W 73-62
Feb. 14: *at Mingo Central, W 61-59 (OT)
Feb. 16: * Wayne, W 80-47
Feb. 28: vs. Lincoln County (Class AA sectionals at Logan), W 69-37
March 2: vs. Mingo Central (Class AA sectionals at Logan), W 62-37
March 8: vs. Winfield (Class AA regionals at Logan), W 65-44
March 16: vs. Wyoming East (Class AA state quarterfinals at Charleston), W 65-42
March 17: vs. Lincoln (Class AA state semifinals at Charleston), W 57-40
March 18: vs. Fairmont Senior (Class AA state finals at Charleston), L 54-59
* Cardinal Conference game
— Look for more on the game, a recap of the state tournament and championship game photos in Tuesday’s Logan Banner sports section and online at www.loganbanner.com
— For video highlights of the state championship game go to Sports Editor Paul Adkins’ Twitter page @PAdkinsBanner