Big Blacks outlast Hannan, 55-49


By Bryan Walters - bwalters@aimmediamidwest.com



Point Pleasant’s Hunter Bush (23) retrieves a loose ball while being surrounded by Hannan defenders Chase Nelson (15), Chandler Starkey (50), Casey Lowery (30) and Ryan Hall, right, during the first half of Friday night’s boys basketball contest in Point Pleasant, W.Va.

Point Pleasant’s Hunter Bush (23) retrieves a loose ball while being surrounded by Hannan defenders Chase Nelson (15), Chandler Starkey (50), Casey Lowery (30) and Ryan Hall, right, during the first half of Friday night’s boys basketball contest in Point Pleasant, W.Va.


Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

Point Pleasant senior Evan Cobb dribbles past Hannan defender Chase Nelson (15) during the second half of Friday night’s boys basketball contest in Point Pleasant, W.Va.


Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

Hannan senior Andrew Gillispie (2) dribbles past Point Pleasant defender Braxton Yates (24) during the first half of Friday night's boys basketball contest in Point Pleasant, W.Va. (Bryan Walters|OVP Sports)


Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

Hannan junior Chandler Starkey (50) is surrounded by Point Pleasant defenders Kyelar Morrow (2), Aiden Sang (5) and Braxton Yates during the second half of Friday night's boys basketball contest in Point Pleasant, W.Va. (Bryan Walters|OVP Sports)


Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — David wasn’t as fortunate with Goliath this time around.

The Point Pleasant boys basketball team let a 13-point second half lead get cut down to a single point in the final minute, but visiting Hannan ultimately never recovered from a sloppy start as the Big Blacks held on for a gutsy 55-49 victory on Friday in a non-conference matchup of Mason County programs.

The host Big Blacks (2-6) led the final 26:12 of regulation and built leads of 13 points in each half, but the Wildcats (2-8) overcame a 42-29 third quarter deficit by using a 20-8 charge down the stretch to close to within 50-49 with 30 seconds left.

The Red and Black, however, answered the bell in the face of adversity as the hosts held Hannan scoreless the rest of the way, plus converted 5-of-6 charity tosses to hold on for the two-possession triumph.

The win allowed Point Pleasant to snap a three-game losing skid and also extend its winning streak to seven consecutive decisions over the Wildcats.

The Blue and White — who have now dropped six straight decisions overall — last defeated the Big Blacks by a 63-56 margin back on Jan. 15, 2008.

Hannan took its only lead of the night at 7-5 following a Casey Lowery trifecta at the 5:21 mark of the opening canto, but the hosts reeled off nine consecutive points while securing a 14-7 edge through eight minutes of work.

The Wildcats — who missed their last five shot attempts and committed seven turnovers in the opening canto — followed by committing another seven turnovers while starting the second frame with five missed shots, all while Point Pleasant extended its lead out to 19-7 following an Aiden Yates trifecta at the 6:35 mark.

Hunter Bush capped a small 3-2 spurt with a pair of free throws at the 4:22 mark, allowing the hosts to secure their largest lead of the first half at 22-9 with 4:22 remaining.

The Wildcats, however, countered with a 10-6 run the rest of the way, closing the deficit down to 28-19 as both teams headed into the intermission.

Chandler Starkey allowed HHS to close to within seven just 19 seconds into the third stanza, but the Big Blacks answered with a 14-8 run the rest of the way to re-establish a 13-point lead at 42-29 headed into the finale.

Point Pleasant seemed to be firmly in control of things as the hosts were holding a 49-37 advantage with 3:02 remaining, but Hannan made a furious 12-1 charge over the next two-plus minutes. Chase Nelson sank two free throws with 30.4 seconds left, cutting the deficit down to 50-49.

Braxton Yates ended up canning 5-of-6 free throw attempts the rest of the way as Point closed regulation with a 5-0 run, which wrapped up the two-possession outcome.

The Wildcats dominated the boards after posting a 36-19 overall advantage, which included a 12-1 edge on the offensive glass. Hannan had only one of its 20 turnovers in the fourth quarter, while the hosts committed six of their 16 miscues in the final period.

After having the night go mostly the way he had hoped, PPHS coach Josh Williams noted that things did indeed get a little too interesting late. In all fairness though, the Big Blacks found a way to close out the victory — and that was the most important aspect by night’s end.

“Anytime you can get a win at the varsity level, you take it. I’m just so proud of these guys tonight because they went out and controlled the game, then they found a way to come up with answers when Hannan made that late run,” Williams said. “We didn’t do the best job of handling the pressure there at the end, but we came together when we needed to and we closed out the game in a winning fashion.

“We have a bunch of fighters on this team. They kept fighting through both the good and the bad, but they didn’t quit until the game was over. We played winning basketball for the better part of four quarters, and that’s a huge momentum boost for our confidence moving forward.”

Conversely, HHS coach Shawn Coleman was disappointed with the final outcome — mainly due to his squad’s struggles through the better part of three quarters of the game. But, as he noted, it wasn’t because of a lack of effort — and that was something that he was proud of by night’s end.

“We just never found a rhythm until the fourth quarter. The boys played their hearts out all game and it was probably our best effort all year, but we just had too many mistakes early on that we couldn’t overcome,” Coleman said. “I’m proud of our kids for continuing to battle and make a game of this late, but give Point credit for causing us a few too many problems early on. We just need to rebound and hopefully get things turned around soon, because we have been playing well. We just need a little more consistency.”

The Big Blacks netted 17-of-41 field goal attempts for 41 percent, including a 6-of-18 effort from behind the arc for 33 percent. The hosts were also 15-of-20 at the free throw line for 75 percent.

Bush paced Point Pleasant with a game-high 18 points and Yates followed with 13 points and a team-best five rebounds. Aiden Sang and Evan Cobb were next with six points apiece, while Kyelar Morrow and Jordan Daubenmire respectively added five and four markers.

McKeehan Justus and Jovone Johnson completed the winning tally with two points and one point, respectively. Johnson also hauled in four boards and Sang grabbed three caroms.

The Wildcats made 13-of-44 shot attempts for 30 percent, including a 6-of-21 effort from behind the arc for 29 percent. The guests also went 17-of-23 at the charity stripe for 74 percent.

Lowery led Hannan with 17 points and a game-high nine rebounds, followed by Dalton Coleman with 11 points and Nelson with nine markers. Starkey and Andrew Gillispie completed the HHS tally with eight and four points, respectively.

Nelson and Gillispie also grabbed eight rebounds apiece in the setback.

Point Pleasant played at River Valley on Saturday and returns to action Friday when it hosts Calvary Baptist at 6 p.m.

Hannan hosted Wood County Christian on Saturday and returns to the hardwood Tuesday when it welcomes Carter Christian for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff.

Point Pleasant’s Hunter Bush (23) retrieves a loose ball while being surrounded by Hannan defenders Chase Nelson (15), Chandler Starkey (50), Casey Lowery (30) and Ryan Hall, right, during the first half of Friday night’s boys basketball contest in Point Pleasant, W.Va.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2019/01/web1_1.15-PP-Bush.jpgPoint Pleasant’s Hunter Bush (23) retrieves a loose ball while being surrounded by Hannan defenders Chase Nelson (15), Chandler Starkey (50), Casey Lowery (30) and Ryan Hall, right, during the first half of Friday night’s boys basketball contest in Point Pleasant, W.Va. Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

Point Pleasant senior Evan Cobb dribbles past Hannan defender Chase Nelson (15) during the second half of Friday night’s boys basketball contest in Point Pleasant, W.Va.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2019/01/web1_1.15-PP-Cobb.jpgPoint Pleasant senior Evan Cobb dribbles past Hannan defender Chase Nelson (15) during the second half of Friday night’s boys basketball contest in Point Pleasant, W.Va. Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

Hannan senior Andrew Gillispie (2) dribbles past Point Pleasant defender Braxton Yates (24) during the first half of Friday night’s boys basketball contest in Point Pleasant, W.Va. (Bryan Walters|OVP Sports)
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2019/01/web1_HAN-Gillispie.jpgHannan senior Andrew Gillispie (2) dribbles past Point Pleasant defender Braxton Yates (24) during the first half of Friday night’s boys basketball contest in Point Pleasant, W.Va. (Bryan Walters|OVP Sports)Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

Hannan junior Chandler Starkey (50) is surrounded by Point Pleasant defenders Kyelar Morrow (2), Aiden Sang (5) and Braxton Yates during the second half of Friday night’s boys basketball contest in Point Pleasant, W.Va. (Bryan Walters|OVP Sports)
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2019/01/web1_HAN-Starkey.jpgHannan junior Chandler Starkey (50) is surrounded by Point Pleasant defenders Kyelar Morrow (2), Aiden Sang (5) and Braxton Yates during the second half of Friday night’s boys basketball contest in Point Pleasant, W.Va. (Bryan Walters|OVP Sports)Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

By Bryan Walters

bwalters@aimmediamidwest.com

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.