The Beavers and the Polar Bears met on Friday for a chance to play in the Class AA state title game.
The teams traded three-pointers to open up the game, but then Fairmont Senior took over. The Polar Bears held a 30-7 halftime advantage after holding the Beavers to just 2-of-23 from the field. Bluefield’s defense came up with 15 steals and forced 21 turnovers, but Fairmont’s offense was relentless.
The Polar Bears ended Bluefield’s season with a 64-32 victory.
“That is, without a doubt, the best team I’ve seen,” Bluefield head coach Buster Large. “I knew they were going to be good. I felt like we had to do some critical things early and we did not.”
Braeden Crews led the Beavers with six points and five rebounds. Ronnell Blevins contributed five points and five boards, as well. The Polar Bears just would not allow Bluefield to settle into a groove.
“They moved us out of our offense,” Large said. “They’re just so athletic. They pushed us out of our offense and we couldn’t get anything going. When we went to the bucket, they were so long, they just batted it away.”
“We usually like to set ball screens and stuff,” junior Braeden Crews said. “They would double team me or they would hedge up and get Zyon or Jalen on me. And then they would overplay the wings. It was just tough.”
It’s the end of the road for eight Bluefield seniors, but the program will also return a number of players looking to earn a state tournament berth for the ninth-straight year in 2020.