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…
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