FAIRMONT – In a final quarter that became increasingly physical, it was a touch foul called with 4.1 second left Friday night that proved to be the difference for the homestanding Fairmont Senior Polar Bears (12-5) versus the resilient Ravenswood Red Devilettes.
Devilette senior Hannah Murray was called for her fifth personal foul on Polar Bear 6-1 sophomore guard Emily Stoller near the free throw line with the scored tied at 45-45. Fairmont's leading scorer for the season and Friday night (17 points), Stoller, who victimized Ravenswood in the first half with her passing skills as much as her scoring prowess, knocked down both ends of a 1-and-1 to give the Polar Bears a 47-45 lead. And Melonna Carmichael's desperation prayer toss at the buzzer caromed off the hoop.
It was ironic that a tick-tack foul decided the game, when the officials had let the teams mix it up in earnest for most of the final eight minutes. Devilettes Taylor Treadway and Carmichael were both literally flattened on no-call plays, yet Treadway was assessed a questionable foul on a scramble for a loose ball near mid-court.
Fairmont Senior opened the game with an 8-0 run, but Ravenswood answered with a 9-0 run of their own to grab a 9-8 lead on a three by Taylor Youell, two free throws by Hailey Miller, a bucket by Taylor Treadway and another by Miller. The Polar Bears closed out the quarter with a 10-3 run for a 18-12 advantage as no calls on the physical Bears set the tone for the night.
Coach Cara Williams' Devilettes opened the second quarter with a 9-0 spurt to take the lead at 19-18. The lead changed hands twice before Fairmont Senior went up by three late. Hannah Murray's jumper cut that advantage to one at 27-26 at the half.
The third quarter opened with the Devilettes committing several turnovers on errant passes (the fatal flaw as it turned out with 25 for the game), allowing the Polar Bears to stretch out their lead, but Ravenswood again closed the game to a three-point deficit (40-37) at the buzzer. Fairmont eked out a 13-11 scoring margin for the quarter.
In the final physical eight minutes, Ravenswood lost the services for Taylor Youell for several minutes to a jammed finger, but caught the Polar Bears and took the lead at 44-42. Three turnovers including one still p 44-43 and at least two no-calls on Ravenswood's end of the floor again proved crucial. The Polar Bears finally grabbed back the lead at 45-44 after a Ravenswood turnover on a pair of free throws by Stoller with 1:00 left.
Taylor Treadway tied the game at 45-45 with 39.1 seconds left knocking down the front end of a pressure 1-and-1. Ravenswood misfired on another chance to take the lead, before the touch-foul with 4.1 second left set up Stoller for the game-winning free throws. Ravenswood took a 8-7 scoring margin in the final quarter.
Page 2 of 2 - Taylor Treadway (four treys) led the Devilettes with 14 points. Hailey Miller and Hannah Murray (four blocked shots) added eight points each; Melonna Carmichael (two treys) six; Taylor Treadway five; and Kayla Scritchfield four. Ravenswood hit six three-point goals and made good on seven of nine free throw attempts.
Stoller lead the Polar Bears with a game-high 17 points. Kelsey Marrone and Gabrielle Tenney added eight each; Kaden Whaley six; Jenny Bundy four; Tyaina Horton three; and Jasmine Johnson one. The Polar Bears made no three point goals, but connected on nine of 12 free throws including Stoller's huge five-of-six—four-for-four down the stretch.
Hailey Miller grabbed six rebounds and Taylor Treadway five to lead the Devilettes. Melonna Carmichael dished off eight assists. Miller notched five steals, with Youell, Treadway and Murray notching two each.
"I think when they came out (four of five starters 6-0 or better), the girls thought they couldn't play with them, but I knew they could," said Coach Williams. "I thought we played pretty well, especially in the second half adjusting to cut off their pick-and-roll."
Fairmont Senior won the jayvee preliminary, 51-22, full-court pressing the entire game.
Taylor Love (two treys) led Ravenswood with 12 points. Maddison Carpenter added five, Kayla Scritchfield three and Brittany Jones two.
Emily Hershberger paced the Polar Bears with 12 points. Alexandria Shaver and Shania Riffle added 10 each.
Thursday night at home, the Devilettes opened with a 23-2 first quarter scoring barrage to cruise to a 41-26 win over Wirt County in the LKC seventh place game. Hailey Miller and Taylor Youell scored nine points each in that opening quarter barrage.
Youell (two treys) led the Devilettes with 14 points and Miller 12. Carmichael added nine and Murray six. Taylor Treadway grabbed a team-and game-high 13 rebounds.
Miriam Smith paced the Tigers with 10 points. Katie Leadman added seven, Amanda Clark five, Taylor Watson three and Liz Adams one.
Youell dished off three assists and Carmichael two. Miller notched four steals, Youell three and Treadway and Carmichael two each. Murray blocked four shots.
Ravenswood won the jayvee preliminary, 36-29 behind 25 points from Taylor Love (five treys). Maddison Carpenter added four points, Brittany Jones three and Kindsey Torris and Kayla Scritchfield two each.
Allie Bailey and Gwynn Smith scored eight points each for Wirth County. Madison Hardbarger added six.
Ravenswood (13-7) hosts the Ripley Lady Vikings tonight (Tuesday) in a 6 p.m./7:30 p.m. Senior Night showdown. Devilette seniors Melonna Carmichael, Hannah Murray and Taylor Youell will be honored between the jayvee and varsity games.
Ravenswood closes out the regular season with a make-up game at Doddridge County Thursday, before entering Class AA Region I, Section 2 tournament play next week.