MASON, W.Va. — A tough way to go.
Visiting Calhoun County shot 51 percent from the field and led the final 19 minutes of regulation by double digits while ending the Wahama boys basketball team’s season on Monday night following a 79-60 decision in a Class A Region 4, Section 1 contest at Gary Clark Court in Mason County.
The host White Falcons (9-14) led only once in the contest, which came 32 seconds into regulation when Jacob Lloyd drilled a trifecta for a 3-0 cushion. It also proved to be the largest lead of the night for WHS.
The Red Devils (3-19) countered by hitting five consecutive baskets — with Zack Yanero providing a permanent lead on a putback goal at the 5:32 mark — while going 10-of-15 from the field over the final six minutes, giving CCHS a 22-14 edge after one period of play.
Philip Hoffman capped an 8-4 run with a basket at the 5:24 mark of the second frame, allowing the White Falcons to pull back to within 26-22. That, however, was as close as Wahama came the rest of the way.
Ben Frederick gave Calhoun County a permanent double-digit with a trifecta at the 2:58 mark, which also sparked a 10-2 surge that turned a 30-23 contest into a sizable 40-25 cushion at the break.
The Red Devils netted 18-of-33 shot attempts in the first half, and over a third of the makes came from Yanero. The 6-foot-2 forward simply dominated the interior in the opening 16 minutes while posting 15 points and 14 rebounds.
Wahama, conversely, netted only 9-of-27 shot attempts and was outrebounded 21-12 before the intermission.
The White Falcons closed the gap down to 13 points on four separate occasions in the second half, with the last of those coming at 63-50 with 3:13 left in regulation.
Calhoun County claimed its biggest lead of the game at 75-53 with a pair of Yanero charity tosses at the 1:06 mark. CCHS also closed the final three minutes with a 16-10 run to wrap up the 19-point outcome.
The Red Devils outrebounded the hosts by a 42-30 overall margin, including a narrow 11-10 edge on the offensive glass. The guests also committed 15 of the 24 total turnovers in the contest.
Afterwards, fourth-year WHS coach Ron Bradley was dejected with the outcome … mainly because it was one last chance for his four seniors to win a game at home.
But, as he noted, the team that wanted to win more got the desired outcome.
“I told the kids after the game that that’s what happens when one team comes to play and one team doesn’t. I thought that was the story,” Bradley said. “Calhoun County came ready to play and they wanted it. We went out there and kind of went through the motions early on … and they built that big lead on us and we never recovered.
“It’s a tough way for the seniors to finish here at home, but they have been a vital part of this program for the last four years. I am still proud of them for what they have been able to accomplish here.”
It was the final basketball game for seniors Philip Hoffman, Travis Kearns, Mason Hildreth and Randy Lantz in the Red and White.
The White Falcons connected on 23-of-65 field goal attempts for 35 percent, including a 5-of-24 effort from three-point territory for 21 percent. WHS was also 9-of-14 at the free throw line for 64 percent.
Hoffman led Wahama with a double-double effort of 20 points and 10 rebounds, followed by Lantz with 15 points and Lloyd with 11 markers and nine boards.
Kearns was next with seven points, while Hildreth and Abram Pauley respectively rounded things out with five and two markers. Hildreth also hauled in seven caroms in the setback.
Calhoun County netted 28-of-55 shot attempts overall, including a 5-of-12 effort from behind the arc for 42 percent. The guests also went 17-of-24 at the charity stripe for 70 percent.
Yanero paced CCHS with game-high efforts of 29 points and 23 rebounds, followed by Adam Parsons with 26 points and Dylan Heiney with seven markers. Adam Walker was next with six points, while Trevor Carder and Frederick respectively chipped in four and three markers.
Levi Gregory and Hayden Richardson rounded out the winning tally with two points each. The Red Devils advance to Wednesday night’s semifinal contest at Ravenswood.
Wahama finished seventh in TVC Hocking play with a 7-9 league mark.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.