MASON, W.Va. — The effort was better than the final result.
The Wahama girls basketball team stayed within contention for two-plus quarters, but visiting Scott made a 20-0 surge over an eight-plus minute span in the second half and eventually rolled to a 40-15 decision Friday night in a non-conference contest at Gary Clark Court in Mason County.
The host Lady Falcons (0-1) never led in their season opener as the Lady Hawks (2-0) scored the first eight points of regulation before Maddi VanMatre drilled a jumper with less than a minute remaining, giving SHS an 8-2 cushion after one period of play.
WHS followed with baskets from VanMatre and Gracie VanMeter as part of a 4-2 run, which allowed the Red and White to close to within four points (10-6) with 4:23 left until halftime.
Wahama, despite staying within three possessions over the next seven minutes, was never closer the rest of the way as SHS closed the half with a 5-0 spurt — giving the Black and Gold a 15-6 advantage at the break.
VanMatre hit a free throw with 7:48 left in the third to close to within eight points, then VanMeter added a field goal at the 5:21 mark to trim the deficit down to 17-9 with 5:21 remaining.
The Lady Hawks, however, closed the third period with a 10-0 run for a 27-9 lead headed into the finale, then the guests reeled off another 10 consecutive points to start the fourth for a 37-9 edge with 3:30 left.
The Lady Falcons ended regulation with a 6-3 spurt to wrap up the 25-point outcome.
The decision was the 68th straight setback for the Lady Falcons, but the end result also came with a lot of promise — considering there were four new starters and a slew of newcomers participating in their first varsity contest.
Three of their projected starters, however, were unable to play due to either injury or a lack of qualifying practices.
Afterwards, WHS coach John Arnott looked for the pluses in the outcome — and he saw more than a few things that made him optimistic moving forward.
“There were a lot of positives, considering we played with one hand tied behind our back after having three starters not able to play tonight,” Arnott said. “I thought we did a good job with our effort tonight and I thought we ran our offense with efficiency. We showed signs of growth and we will eventually get back to full strength, so I am pleased about the direction we seem to be heading already.”
VanMatre led the hosts with five points, followed by VanMeter with four markers. LeDeanna Sinclair, Natalie Rickard and Hannah Rose also contributed two points apiece.
WHS connected on just 1-of-6 free throw attempts for 17 percent, while the guests went 5-of-9 charity tosses for 56 percent.
Emily Foley paced SHS with a game-high 15 points, followed by Brooke Burns with eight points and Diana Birchfield with seven markers.
Sarah Mayse was next with six points, while Allison Mathews and Mary Boggess each contributed two points apiece.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.