POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Party poopers.
Senior Andrea Porter became the eighth female in Point Pleasant prep history to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau for her career, but visiting Meigs spoiled the festivities Saturday afternoon with a 45-39 victory in a non-conference girls basketball matchup in Mason County.
Porter — a four-year starter — became the first Lady Knight to reach quadruple digits since Anna Sommer accomplished the feat during the 2008-09 campaign. Porter sank the first of two free throw attempts with 29 seconds left in the first half, giving her 12 points on the day — exactly what she needed at the beginning of the contest to reach 1,000 points for her career.
Porter’s historic charity toss pulled the hosts to within 18-14, then Sarah Hussell drilled a trifecta after an offensive rebound on Porter’s second attempt — allowing PPHS (5-11) to close to within a point with 26 seconds remaining in the second canto.
The Lady Marauders (4-14), however, countered with a three-pointer from Brittany Krautter at the buzzer to reclaim a two-possession lead of 21-17 headed into the break.
PPHS managed to pull even at 24-all with 5:16 left in the third canto after Cassie Nibert drained a three-pointer, but Meigs countered with a 10-2 surge over the final 4:41 to secure a 34-26 cushion headed into the finale.
The Lady Knights — who outscored the guests 13-11 down the stretch — never came closer than four points the rest of the way, allowing MHS to claim the six-point decision.
Porter — who finished the game with a team-high 17 points — kept things in a proper perspective following the loss Saturday. On one hand, it’s an incredible achievement that is somewhat spoiled by the final outcome. Then again, there’s always the next game.
“It’s been a long, hard road. I’ve worked really hard to get here and I’ve had a lot help from my coaches and teammates over the years,” Porter said. “I feel blessed to join this sorority and I’m really grateful that it happened at home, in front of my friends and family. It feels fantastic.
“It would have been icing on the cake if we would have been able to get the win, but we’ll work harder next week and hopefully come away with a victory or two.”
Point Pleasant jumped out to a 4-0 advantage less than two minutes into regulation, but the Lady Marauders retaliated with 15 straight points to claim their biggest lead of the night with 7:17 left in the second stanza. PPHS answered with a 13-3 charge, capped by Hussell’s trifecta, to close to within 18-17.
Meigs twice led by 10 points in the fourth quarter, the last of which came at 38-28 with 4:55 left in regulation. The hosts came as close 43-39 with 14 seconds remaining. MHS tacked on a pair of free throws to wrap up the two-possession outcome.
The Lady Marauders shot 45 percent from the field and had seven different players reach the scoring column. The guests also went 13-of-18 at the free throw line for 72 percent, including a 4-of-7 effort in the fourth quarter.
Afterwards, MHS coach Amber Ridenour noted that it was one of the more complete efforts that her squad has put together this winter.
“I feel we learned a lot tonight as far as situations go,” said Ridenour. “We finally put two halves together and everybody did their part in getting this win. Everyone really stepped it up tonight.
“It’s a good road win, and now we just need to keep the momentum going.”
Meigs — which had 17 turnovers in the triumph — connected on 15-of-33 shot attempts, including a 2-of-4 effort from three-point territory.
Brittany Krautter led the guests with a game-high 21 points, followed by Mercadies George with 10 points and Delilah Fish with five markers. Tess Phelps was next with four points, while Kelsey Hudson and Morgan Russell each contributed two markers. Hannah Cremeans rounded out the scoring with one point.
Point Pleasant connected on 15-of-51 field goal attempts overall for 29 percent, including a 4-of-19 effort from three-point range for 21 percent. The Lady Knights were also 5-of-13 from the charity stripe for 38 percent.
Cassie Nibert followed Porter with eight points, while Katie Bruner and Sarah Hussell each contributed six markers. Allison Smith rounded out the scoring with two points.
The hosts committed seven turnovers in the setback, five of which came in the opening period. PPHS also went scoreless for 8:20 between the first and second cantos.
That scoring lull has proven to be a common occurrence for the Lady Knights this winter, one that PPHS coach John Fields has tried to get rid of. But despite a frustrating repeat of sorts, he was still happy for Porter and her accomplishment on this afternoon.
“We’ve had slow starts all year long and we’ve tried all kinds of different things to fix it,” Fields said. “We thought we had a good start today, and then we just went flat. We just didn’t have any energy today and it came back and bit us.
“I’m proud for Andrea though. I coached her in seventh grade and I’ve watched her grow as a player. She’s worked for every point that she’s scored at this level. She’s willing to out-work other players, which is what makes her better than most.”