POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — After four games in five days, the Big Blacks simply had nothing left in the tank.
Visiting Ripley used a 31-22 second half run to make a 1-possession halftime lead hold up Tuesday night during a 62-50 victory over the Point Pleasant boys basketball team in a non-conference matchup at The Dungeon in Mason County.
The host Big Blacks (6-10) stormed out to an early 8-2 advantage — the biggest lead of the first half — but the Vikings (9-6) rallied with an 11-5 run that resulted in a 13-all tie with 1:49 left in the opener.
Kyelar Morrow reeled off four straight points from there as PPHS ended the first quarter with a 4-2 spurt and a 17-15 lead.
Both teams battled through two ties and five lead changes in the second canto, with the Red and Black claiming their final lead at 28-27 on a Hunter Bush trifecta with 1:02 remaining in the half.
RHS, however, countered with an offensive putback by Carter Casto with 44 seconds left for what proved to a permanent lead. Casto also added a basket with 21 seconds remaining for a 31-28 edge entering the break.
Both teams shot 50 percent from the field in the first half and Point Pleasant had eight of the 15 turnovers before halftime, but the real difference at that point was on the boards. Ripley claimed a 13-9 edge in rebounding, including all four offensive rebounds.
The Blue and White built their largest third quarter lead at 40-33 following a free throw by Ty Johnson with 3:34 remaining, but the hosts answered with back-to-back baskets by Eric Chapman and Bush to get as close as 40-37 with 1:22 left.
The Red and Black were ultimately never closer as RHS got a pair of free throws from Tobias Scholl with 38 seconds remaining for a 42-37 lead headed into the finale.
Johnson sank two free throws with 5:20 left, capping a 6-1 run that gave the Vikings their first double-digit lead at 48-38.
Point Pleasant was never closer than five points the rest of the way, while the guests took the largest lead of the game at 58-45 with 53 seconds left following a Casto free throw.
The Big Blacks ended the final 42 ticks with a small 5-4 run to complete the 12-point outcome.
Ripley outrebounded the hosts by a 27-18 overall margin, including a decisive 9-1 edge on the offensive glass. PPHS also committed 17 of the 30 turnovers in the contest.
The hosts netted 19-of-43 field goal attempts for a respectable 44 percent, including a 5-of-17 effort from behind the arc for 29 percent. PPHS was 7-of-9 at the free throw line for 78 percent.
Bush led the Big Blacks with a game-high 24 points, followed by Chapman with 12 points and a team-best six rebounds. Morrow was next with nine markers, while Trey Peck and Braxton Yates respectively wrapped things up with three and two points.
Ripley made 22-of-47 field goal attempts for 47 percent, including a 5-of-15 effort from 3-point territory for 33 percent. The guests were also 13-of-19 at the charity stripe for 68 percent.
Scholl paced the Vikings with 20 points, followed by Johnson with 19 points and Casto with 16 markers. Casto and Johnson also hauled in nine and seven caroms, respectively, for the victors.
Isaac Robertson and Jacob Fouty completed the winning tally with four and three points.
Point Pleasant returns to the hardwood on Saturday when it travels to Centenary for a non-conference game against Gallia Academy at 7 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.