Things were hot at the Marlinton Middle School gym Friday night as employees of Burns Motor Freight and members of Marlinton Volunteer Fire Department went head-to-head on the basketball court in an all-for-fun competition to raise funds for Marlinton Elementary School fifth grade.
Despite its effort, the department could not put out the fire that led the Burns team to a 68-61 win.
Coy Beverage, of MVFD, won the tip-off against Burns’ Austin Duncan and helped to secure an early lead for the elected “visitors.” A three-point shot brought the score to 0-5 in MVFD’s favor.
Burns’ Jessie Sharp quickly proved that his team was just warming up. Back-to-back plays, led by Sharp’s quick hands and feet, brought the ball into the home team’s hands and to a 7-5 lead. Another two-pointer brought Burns further ahead, making the score 9-5.
Taking the ball back into MVFD’s possession, Adam Irvine scored two points for the Hoses which brought the score to 9-7.
At the end of the first quarter, Burns led MVFD 20-13 and 36-27 at the half.
The fire department saw a comeback during the first of the third quarter.
Herby Barlow [MVFD] raised the score 36-29 with a two-point basket during the third quarter. Another four points were scored, and with nine minutes remaining in the third quarter, MVFD trailed by only three.
Irvine quickly closed that gap with a three-pointer, tying the score 36-36.
But by the end of the third Burns had regained its lead, 55-45.
MVFD trailed 66-61 with two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
With less than thirty seconds remaining, Sharp sunk one last basket for the Air Guns – bringing the final score to 68-61 and securing the win.
The Air Guns and Hoses fundraiser was organized by Rebecca Puffenbarger, Accounting Manager for Burns Motor Freight, and the proceeds from Friday’s game will go toward Marlinton Elementary School’s 2016 Fifth Grade field trip.
“We’re just tired of selling stuff,” Puffenbarger said, “so we thought if we could do something that people could come and pay to watch, it’d give us a break from selling.”
The location of the field trip has yet to be decided.
“It’ll be voted on at the beginning of next year,” Puffenbarger said.
The game between Burns Motor Freight and Marlinton VFD was not the only fun to be had Friday night.
A three-point halftime contest had students flooding the gym floor, each awaiting their chance at the net. In the end, Brandon Burns outshot his fellow contestants and won a $10 prize.
Tickets for a 50/50 drawing were sold at the beginning of the game, and the winner was announced during halftime. Mike Fitzgerald won $25, which he donated back in support of the upcoming field trip.
“We really appreciate everybody volunteering, and I think everybody had a good time,” Puffenbarger said.