Feb. 10—CLARKSBURG — The last road game of the regular season, No. 1 East Fairmont girls basketball went to Big X opponent Liberty Harrison for a game that could clinch the conference title.
East Fairmont came away with the win and the Big X Conference title, beating Liberty 80-38. According to Head Coach James Beckman, it's the first conference title for East Fairmont girls basketball since 1996.
"That's our, I believe, 11th conference win," Head Coach James Beckman said. "If you do the math, we're conference champions for the first time since 1996 in our program, so that's big for us."
With one conference game left and two games ahead of second place, East Fairmont mathematically takes the Big X title. Winning the conference was the first goal the Bees set for themselves at the beginning of the season.
Senior Kenly Rogers led the charge with 23 points. She scored 21 in the first half, including 12 in the first quarter and made four total three-point shots in the game. Sophomore Emma Moore followed with 18 points.
"I'm just going out there and knowing that new five were coming in quickly, so just making the most of what I was given," Rogers said. "Playing hard while I was in there. Finding my teammates, making the right play."
East Fairmont didn't have many opportunities to rebound in the first half but had more come its way in the second half as 14 different Bees grabbed the 40 total rebounds.
Senior Tarayn Myers led the team with six rebounds, all of them coming from the offensive glass. She also had four steals, a total tied by fellow senior Kyleigh Fridley.
"It was just another game," Myers said. "I knew that we needed this to win the conference championship. We haven't had that since the 1996 team, and that was one of our goals to start the season was to get that other sticker up on that banner in the gym. It was for the team, it wasn't anything about personal stats."
Liberty's Emma Elliott led the game in scoring, rebounds and steals. The senior scored 27 points, grabbed 13 rebounds for a double-double and nabbed five steals.
"[Elliot's] such a versatile player," Beckman said. "She can go inside. She plays wherever she is needed. That's a coach's dream when you can find kids that will do whatever they can to help the team win, and that's what Emma does."
East Fairmont pulled out with an early lead in the first quarter against Liberty. The Bees held a 15-2 lead over the Mountaineers about halfway through the quarter before leading 33-6 at the end of it. The lead grew significantly more in the second quarter as East Fairmont entered halftime up 57-17.
In the second half, East Fairmont balanced playing its starters and getting the younger players enough playing time with the lack of a junior varsity game. The Bees led 73-21 at the end of the third, and with most of the starters out in the fourth, East Fairmont clinched the victory.
"[Winning the conference] is huge for us," Rogers said. "That was one of the stepping stones. That and then sectionals and then regionals. We take one game at a time, and every game has been a step to achieving that goal. We're really excited about it, but we move forward into continuing paving our path into our next goal."
Awaiting 19-0 East Fairmont on its next step is 14-5 AAAA opponent Musselman. The Bees host the Applemen on Saturday, Feb. 10, at 3 p.m.
Reach Colin C. Rhodes at 304-367-2548