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No. 1 East Fairmont girls down No. 3 Lewis County 64-37

Jan. 31—PLEASANT VALLEY — Two of the top girls basketball teams clashed at East Fairmont High on Tuesday night. No. 1 East Fairmont took on No. 3 Lewis County in a ranked Big X Conference matchup.

After a smack to the face from Lewis County early in the first quarter, East Fairmont showed up and proved why they are the top girls team in AAA in all of West Virginia. The Bees stung the Minutemaids 64-37.

"Our team has good composure. We work well together," senior Tarayn Myers said. "In high pressure situations, we still do our thing, so we came to work."

Senior Kenly Rogers put on a show, scoring 21 points for the Bees as the lead scorer in the game. She also grabbed six rebounds.

Fellow senior Tarayn Myers put in a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. She grabbed six rebounds in the first quarter, five of them on the offensive side of the glass.

"[Myers] was an animal on the glass," Head Coach James Beckman said. "If you look at us, we got no one taller than 5-foot-9, and we kept a lot of things alive. Got second, third opportunities within our one possession. When we're controlling the glass, we're getting those shots, we have a strong chance of winning."

East Fairmont and Lewis County both played with press defenses. According to Myers, Beckman emphasizes knowing how to play against his own team, so the girls practice against their own press defense in preparation. According to Rogers, what makes East Fairmont's press different from Lewis County's was their chaotic play style.

"We like to play chaotic," Rogers said. "Other teams, that rattles them. Defensively, we like to make chaos, and we've gotten used to it. Ball rolling around on the ground, five girls after it. That's just what we're used to, and we can play well in those situations."

At the start, Lewis County got an early advantage thanks to East Fairmont quickly racking up fouls, allowing the Minutemaids to take a 7-2 lead. The Bees turned it around immediately and went on a 14-3 run to finish the first quarter, leading 16-10 at the end of the quarter.

The East Fairmont offense continued to click in the second quarter, and so did the defense. The Bees went on a 10-1 run to start the quarter and carried the momentum into the half. East Fairmont led Lewis County 34-18 going into the break.

East Fairmont continued to score points, many of them in transition. Jumping out to a 12-4 run to start the second half, the Bees finished the third quarter up 51-29 over Lewis County.

For the final frame, East Fairmont didn't slow down and kept up the intensity. Beckman's Bees remained steady to clinch the victory and cement its top-seed ranking 64-37 over Lewis County.

"We've been building for a while, and we're starting to get comfortable in uncomfortable situations," Rogers said. "This was a high pressure game, and they're a really good team. We just came in with the same mentality we come into every game."

Moving on to 15-0, East Fairmont travels to Philippi, W.Va. to take on section opponent and ranked foe, No. 5 Philip Barbour. Beckman expects an even tougher fight than his team's most recent win.

"They compete," Beckman said. "The athletes they have, the experience they have. They don't get rattled. It's going to be a dogfight down there. Philip Barbour, the history that we've had in the past couple years with them, much respect to that program, and we know we're gonna get our money's worth down there in Philippi."

East Fairmont visits Philip Barbour on Thursday, Feb. 1. Varsity tips off at 7:30 p.m.

Reach Colin C. Rhodes at 304-367-2548