ASHTON, W.Va. — If nothing else, the Wildcats cut their deficit in half this time around.
The Hannan boys basketball team — which closed 2018 with a 34-point setback at Wayne on Dec. 21 — opened 2019 against the same Pioneers on Friday in Mason County, this time falling by just a 60-43 margin.
HHS (2-6) stormed out to a 15-7 lead eight minutes into play, connecting on a pair of three-pointers in the opening quarter. However, Wayne (3-4) — which has also been on a break since the Dec. 21 contest — poured in 25 points in the second period, and headed into the half with a 32-22 edge.
The teams played evenly in the third canto, each marking a dozen points to make the WHS advantage 44-34 with eight minutes to play. The Pioneers sealed the 60-43 victory with a 16-to-9 run in the finale.
Wayne won the rebounding edge by a 35-to-28 count, including 18-to-14 after the half.
HHS senior Andrew Gillispie hit five field goals and led the hosts with 10 points. Next was Casey Lowery with nine points, six of which came from beyond the arc. Dalton Coleman finished with seven points for the Wildcats, while Chase Nelson and Chandler Starkey added six apiece. Rounding out the scoring column for Hannan were Devrick Burris with three points and Caleb Gussler with two.
Wayne junior Nickolas Bryant led all-scorers with 15 points on the strength of seven field goals. Gunner Daniels and Bryan Sansom both sank a trio of three-pointers and finished with 13 and 12 points respectively in the triumph. Devin Hall and Colt Adams contributed eight points apiece to the winning tally, while Jacob Merritt chipped in with four.
Hannan will be back in action on Tuesday at Teays Valley Christian.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.