Rivalry games are already intense. When those two rivals are ranked among the top five teams in the state, that intensity can reach a fever pitch.
That was the case in Fairmont on Thursday night when Fairmont Senior hosted East Fairmont in a battle of two 7-0 teams.
The #2-ranked Polar Bears took control after a 10-10 first quarter, using hot-shooting to take an eight-point lead with two minutes left in the second quarter.
The #5-ranked Bees answered with the final five points of the half though, sending both teams to the locker room with Fairmont Senior in front, 28-25.
After the break, it was much of the same with the Polar Bears embarking on a 9-2 run into the final moments of the third but the Bees came back with nine straight to end the quarter.
Despite starting the fourth with just a one-point lead, Fairmont Senior took control of the pace and closed it out in the final eight minutes.
An 11-2 spurt set the tone for the rest of the game and East Fairmont never recovered.
The Polar Bears come out with the win in the first East-West meeting of the season, 65-58.
Zycheus Dobbs led Fairmont Senior with 20 points while Andre Grant joined him in double figures with 16 and Connor Gower added 14.
East Fairmont’s Evan Parr led all scorers with 22 points and six three-pointers.