ASHTON, W.Va. — Collectively getting it done.
The Hannan boys basketball team had four players reach double figures and ultimately led the final 9:03 of regulation on Monday night during a hard-fought 71-65 victory over visiting Wirt County in a non-conference matchup in Mason County.
The Wildcats (2-2) battled through five ties and 27 lead changes with the Tigers (3-2) over the course of three quarters of play, but the hosts broke a 48-all tie with a pivotal 15-5 surge over a 6:34 span — giving the Blue and White their largest lead of the night at 63-53 with 2:29 left in the fourth.
The Orange and Black — who were limited to just 2-of-12 shooting from behind the arc in the second half — made a quick 10-4 charge over the next two minutes to close to within 67-63, but Hannan hit 4-of-5 free throws as part of a 4-2 spurt over the final 28 seconds to wrap up the two-possession triumph.
In a game that featured a lot of back and forth action, Hannan made a critical halftime adjustment that limited the Tigers’ ability to follow up a 6-of-17 performance from 3-point territory.
The end result landed the Wildcats their most important win of the young season, and it all started with an unselfish approach on the both ends of the floor.
“This was a great win because everybody came together and played as a team. No individuals,” first-year HHS coach Shawn Coleman said. “No matter what five we had on the floor, we all matched up well and our defense shined through a little bit. We really worked on fighting through the screens to get to the outside in the second half, and that extra effort paid off for us late.
“This was a big win for us, especially against a bigger Wirt County team that has played well early on. We definitely can take some momentum from this going forward.”
Wirt County hit half of its trifectas in the opening canto, but neither squad led by more than three points as the guests battled through two ties and 11 lead changes for a slim 20-18 first quarter advantage.
There were another seven lead changes and a single tie in the second frame, but Hannan made a 6-0 charge over the final 54 seconds of the half to turn a one-point deficit into a 36-31 edge.
The Tigers — who opened the third quarter 4-of-6 from the field — claimed their final lead of the night on a Charles Wells basket at the 3:54 mark, giving WCHS a 46-43 edge.
Chandler Starkey broke a 48-all tie with a bucket at the 1:03 mark, starting a 4-1 run that led to a 52-49 advantage entering the finale.
Starkey — who provided 15 of his game-high 23 points in the second half — capped an 11-4 run with a basket at the 2:29 mark, giving the hosts a 63-53 edge.
Wirt County, however, answered with five points over the next 30 seconds to trim the deficit in half to 63-58. Wells got the guests to within 67-63 with 31 seconds left in regulation, but the Tigers were never closer.
Hannan outrebounded WCHS by a 42-38 overall margin, but the Tigers claimed a slim 13-12 edge on the offensive glass. The Wildcats also won the turnover battle by a small 15-14 margin.
The hosts connected on 24-of-56 shot attempts for 43 percent, including a 2-of-7 effort from behind the arc for 29 percent.
Dalton Coleman followed Starkey with 20 points, while Casey Lowery and Andrew Gillispie contributed 11 points apiece to the winning cause. Chase Nelson rounded out the scoring with five markers.
Lowery ended the night with a double-double effort after hauling in a game-high 14 rebounds, while Coleman and Starkey each grabbed seven boards. Gillispie also pulled down six caroms in the triumph.
Wirt County netted 24-of-68 shot attempts for 35 percent, including an 8-of-29 effort from behind the arc for 28 percent.
Hunter Hickman paced the guests with three trifectas and 16 total points, followed by Kyler Carper with 12 points and a team-best nine rebounds. Justin Windland was next with 11 markers, while Wells chipped in nine points.
Seth Suslik and Nathan Murray were next with seven markers apiece, with Tyler Evans completing the scoring with three points.
Windland hauled in eight rebounds, while Wells and Evans each grabbed five caroms in the setback.
Hannan completes the week with three consecutive road contests. The Wildcats were at Fairview (KY) on Tuesday, then travel to Wood County Christian on Thursday before heading to Wayne on Friday.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.