POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — A senior night for the record books.
Wade Martin became the alltime leading scorer in Point Pleasant history, allowing he and four classmates to celebrate their final home basketball game in style Friday night with a 74-62 victory over Wahama in the regular season finale for both Mason County programs.
The Big Blacks (14-8) honored Martin, Evan Potter, Garrett Norris, Nick Templeton and Alex Somerville before the game for their collective years of dedication to the program, but the White Falcons (9-12) were not as hospitable in the early moments — as the guests hit eight of their first dozen shots en route to a 17-9 advantage midway through the first period.
PPHS, however, countered with a 9-3 run over the next four minutes, allowing the Red, Black and White to close to within 20-18 after eight minutes of play.
Aden Yates gave Point its first lead of the night at the 7:10 mark of the second canto, as the junior sank the second of two free throws for a 21-20 edge.
Wahama countered with a 5-2 run over the next two-plus minutes, as Wyatt Zuspan netted a basket at the 4:37 mark to cap the spurt for a 25-23 advantage. It would also serve as the White Falcons’ final lead of the contest.
Brian Gibbs and Alex Somerville sparked a 4-0 run to give the Big Blacks a 27-25 edge, but Hunter Bradley followed with two free throws at the 3:16 mark to knot the game up for the final time at 27-all.
Somerville countered with a trfiecta at the 2:51 mark for a permanent lead at 30-27, which sparked an 11-0 charge to end the first half — giving Point Pleasant its largest lead before the break at 38-27.
Martin reached his scoring milestone early in the third period, as the senior capped a 4-3 run with a layup at the 6:17 mark to give Point a 42-30 edge.
After a brief delay to acknowledge the accolade, Wahama followed with a 6-0 run to close to within 42-36 with 4:11 remaining in the third quarter. The White Falcons, however, were never closer the rest of the way.
PPHS answered with a 9-0 surge for a 51-36 edge, then closed the final 2:24 with a 10-9 spurt to secure a 61-45 advantage headed into the finale. The 16-point lead was also the largest of the game for the Big Blacks.
WHS pulled to within nine points (65-56) with 4:07 left in regulation and was again within three possessions (69-60) with 1:22 remaining, but the hosts closed the game with a 5-2 run over the final 63 seconds — allowing Point to wrap up the 12-point triumph.
Martin — a four-year starter for PPHS — needed 14 points coming in to surpass the previous scoring mark of 1,243 points held by former teammate Dillon McCarty. Martin finished the night with 19 points, a dozen of which came during the hard-fought first half.
“It’s a great feeling to reach this milestone. I’ve put in a lot of work and played a lot of games over the years, and this is a reward for all of that hard work and dedication,” Martin said in a humble manner. “I couldn’t have done this without great teammates and coaches along the way, and I think that it’s pretty cool that this happened at home. I’m also glad that it happened in a win.”
PPHS connected on 26-of-52 shot attempts for 50 percent, including a 7-of-22 effort from three-point range for 32 percent. The hosts also outrebounded Wahama by a 35-27 overall margin and committed 17 turnovers in the decision.
Alex Somerville led the Big Blacks with a game-high 20 points, followed by Martin with 19 points and Aden Yates with 10 markers. Evan Potter, Nick Templeton and Brian Gibbs also chipped in seven points apiece.
Garrett Norris added three points to the winning cause, while Doug Workman rounded out the tally with one marker. PPHS — winners of nine of its last 11 contests — was 15-of-26 at the free throw line for 74 percent.
The White Falcons made 21-of-55 floor attempts for 38 percent, including a 5-of-19 effort from behind the arc for 26 percent. The guests committed 15 turnovers and went 15-of-19 at the charity stripe for 79 percent.
Wyatt Zuspan paced WHS with 19 points, followed by Hunter Rose with 18 points and Hunter Bradley with 14 markers. Brent Larck and Ryan Thomas rounded out the respective scoring with six and three markers.
Wahama will host Hannan Monday night in a Class A sectional tournament contest, while Point Pleasant travels to Winfield for a Class AAA sectional game Wednesday. Both games will tip-off at 7 p.m.