HUNTINGTON, W. Va. — Not once but twice on Monday night, the Hannan Wildcats found another gear.
And, in more than one way.
A late first-half surge, followed by a parade to the free-throw line, lifted the visiting Wildcats to a 72-64 boys basketball victory over the Covenant Christian Eagles.
Hannan held a 13-12 edge after the opening quarter, thanks to 11 unanswered points to end the period.
The Wildcats then outscored Covenant 26-20 in the second stanza, before building a double-digit advantage at 42-32.
However, Hannan saw that advantage evaporate, and the Eagles closed the gap to 50-48 after three frames.
But by outscoring the Eagles 22-16 in the final quarter, including a 10-1 margin in made free throws, the Wildcats went on to raise their record to 3-6.
Covenant Christian fell to 2-8 with the loss.
The Wildcats, which were out-rebounded 47-33, did make more free throws (15) than the hosts even attempted (14).
Both squads shot only 50-percent from the line (Hannan 15-of-30 and Covenant 7-of-14), but the Wildcats won the three-point shooting contest 11-9.
Hannan had 26 three-point attempts and the Eagles 27, as Covenant shot 24-of-61 — while the Wildcats were 23-of-52.
Covenant committed twice as many fouls (24-12), thus leading to the 30 free-throw attempts for the Wildcats.
The Eagles also were guilty of 16 turnovers, compared to just nine for Hannan.
Three Wildcats reached double figures in scoring — Dalton Coleman poured in 24 points, Malachi Cade connected for 19, and Corey Hudnall hit for 15.
Logan Nibert with nine, Chase Nelson with three and Chandler Starkey with two rounded out the Hannan scoring.
Isaac Massie, who amassed a game-high 31 points, almost earned a triple-double for Covenant Christian.
He also grabbed seven rebounds and dished out eight assists.
Jonathon Turley tacked on a dozen markers and eight rebounds for the Eagles.
Matt Keeney chipped in eight points and eight boards.
The Wildcats return to the road on Thursday night — when they travel to play Point Pleasant.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106