CHARLESTON — With scant separation in talent, No. 1-seeded Chapmanville’s coach Brad Napier figured his team needed one of its better performances to beat No. 2 Fairmont Senior in Saturday’s Class AA title game.
Napier got even more than he hoped, as Chapmanville led for the final 27 minutes to repeat as state champions, 60-46.
“We played probably our best game of the season and we knew we had to,” Napier said. “Fairmont is really, really good and their players play the right way and play extremely hard.”
A big factor for the Tigers (26-2) was 6-foot-9 center Obinna Anochili-Killen, who narrowly missed out on a triple-double with 12 points, 12 rebounds and eight blocks.
“Obinna’s energy and effort was off the charts all game,” Napier said.
Jalen Bridges scored 17 points for Fairmont Senior (26-2), whose only three losses the last two seasons came against Chapmanville.
“They’re very good defensively,” said Polar Bears coach David Retton, wowed by the performance of Anochili-Killen. “When you have a guy like that in the middle, it changes things. He had eight blocked shots, and we went at him many, many times.
“There were opportunities to kick the ball out, but we continued to go at him. We either took shots that weren’t good or he got them out of there.”
The advantage grew to 16-8 before the Polar Bears’ Zyon Dobbs made a jumper, but the Polar Bears got no closer the rest of the first half.
Andrew Shull made three 3-pointers in the second quarter, the last of which came 1:05 before halftime to send the Tigers into the break with a 29-17 lead.
Fairmont Senior made only 7-of-26 shots in the first half for 27 percent shooting, while the Tigers were 11-of-23 from the field.
Down 12 in the first half, Fairmont Senior got within 31-27 on a Bridges 3 in the third quarter.
That’s when Devin Collins — who scored 17 points to go with seven rebounds — scored on an and-one drive.
“We just liked the matchup we had,” Collins said. “I felt I could take the guy guarding me to the hoop.”
Anochili-Killen had a dunk and made two free throws late in the third to up the advantage to 40-31.
“We knew they were going to make a run,” Napier said. “They’re too good of a team to not put a string of buckets and stops together. We had to buckle down and go on a run ourselves.”
Chapmanville shot 46.2 percent from the field, made 21-of-25 free throws and had only six turnovers against one of the state’s best defensive teams.
“They’re just not going to throw it away,” said Fairmont guard Zyon Dobbs. “They make good reads and run their offense well. We couldn’t rattle them as much as other teams. They were poised with the ball.”
Andrew Shull and Phillip Mullins scored 13 apiece for Chapmanville.
Fairmont Senior made 16-of-59 shots for 27.1 percent shooting.
“It’s tough to overcome that,” Retton said.
Dasilas Jones scored 13 and Dobbs had seven points and eight assists to go with three blocks in defeat.
The Polar Bears have been in five straight AA title games, winning two of which they won.