East Fairmont swarms Red Riders
WEIRTON — East Fairmont had a strong first half, then outscored Weir High by 12 to open the fourth quarter, putting away an important section victory, 57-47, Friday night inside the Carl R. Hamill Fieldhouse.
The win snaps a three-game losing streak for the Bees and advances their record to 9-11.
In a game of spurts, the home-standing Red Riders (11-9) had theirs in the third quarter when they outscored East Fairmont, 21-10. However, they found scoring difficult in the important fourth quarter just like they did in the first half. Weir High was behind, 9-2, after the first eight minutes and 23-15 at the half.
The Bees were red hot from behind the arc, especially the coach’s son, Gavin Asterino, who knocked down five treys. Senior Luke Pollock drained two trifectas for a team total of seven.
“We took a three-point lead (36-33) with our big third quarter,” Red Rider coach Mike Granato said. “But, they had the run to open the fourth quarter. Basketball is a game of runs, and we needed one more run down the stretch. That’s what I kept telling our guys, but we couldn’t get it.”
East Fairmont coach Ty Asterino went into the game concerned because he had three players that had been out with injuries during the Bees’ three-game losing streak.
“That run to start the fourth quarter definitely put a little bit of space between us and then we had to make smart plays and try not to foul,” he said after his club won its ninth game in 20 starts. “That run was good to see because we responded after they had that big run in the third quarter (21-10). We got down and came back again and that shows something on our part. I thought our shooting picked up today. We’ve been playing a little bit shorthanded but I thought we came back and played really well tonight. Everybody that played contributed.”
Coach Asterino utilized his team’s height advantage with a full court pressing defense often, That created several unforced turnovers by the Red Riders. The home team also had trouble finishing shots on drives to the basket when they did break the pressure.
“Their length hurt us,” Granato said. “That happens to us sometimes when we play teams that are bigger than us. When we did crack it, we got some shots out of it, but it’s a credit to their execution that we didn’t make enough of them.
“We had a couple times when we missed layups and you have to make those if you want to win–bottom line. We also had too many turnovers, particularly early in the game (six in the first quarter). To our credit, we kept doing what we had to do and got our shots, but we just didn’t finish enough of them. We played hard. I can’t fault the effort.”
Despite the huge East Fairmont run to open the fourth quarter that put the Bees up by 49-40 with 3:33 left in the game, the Red Riders fought back and closed the gap to six points at 51-45 when senior Brodie McUmar made a layup off of a turnover with 2:20 left in the game. But East Fairmont made six of nine free throws in the final 1:09 with only a Elijah Gillette field goal in return for the final 10-point margin.
It marks the second East Fairmont win over the Red Riders this season. The Bees scored a 71-50 victory at home on Dec. 28.
Gavin Asterino finished with a game-high 17 points, and Pollock followed with 14 to lead the Bees offense.
Weir High seniors Gillette and Tanner Mikula each scored 13 points.
¯ The Region 1 coaches a due to have their votes in by noon next Tuesday to determine the seeding. There are two sections in the region. Weir High is in Section 2 along with East Fairmont, North Marion, Fairmont Senior and Oak Glen. Both coaches said it is anyone’s guess how the bottom three teams in the section will be seeded. North Marion and Fairmont Senior appear to have the top two seeds locked up.
¯ The East Fairmont jayvees more than doubled the score on the Pony Riders in the preliminary with a 63-31 win. Garrett Haymond scored 20 points for the Bees while Jayson Nosko led the Red Riders with 10 points.
Weir High: Gets right back on the hardwood today, traveling to Wheeling for a return match with Linsly.
East Fairmont 57, Weir High 47
East Fairmont 9-14-10-24 — 57
Weir High 2-13-21-11 — 47
EAST FAIRMONT (9-11): Harvey 0 4-4 4; Slusser 0 6-8 6; Asterino 6 0-0 17; Earls 1 0-0 2; Rogers 3 2-3 8; Pollock 6 0-1 14; Baker 3 0-0 6. TOTALS: 19, 12-16: 57. 3-POINT GOALS: 7 (Asterino 5, Pollock 2);. REBOUNDS: 21 (Baker 5). TURNOVERS: 16.
WEIR HIGH (11-9): Spencer 2 0-0 4; McUmar 2 0-0 4; Gillette 5 2-2 13; Cross 1 1-1 3; Curtis 1 0-0 3; Kelly 2 0-0 5; Nutter 1 0-0 2; Mikula 5 2-3 13. TOTALS: 19, 5-6: 47. 3-POINT GOALS: 4 (Gillette, Curtis, Kelly, Mikula). REBOUNDS: 19 (McUmar 6). TURNOVERS: 16.