POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Just when things were looking up for the White Falcons, the Black Knights countered with a knockout blow.
A 34-9 surge over the final 11 minutes of regulation ultimately allowed the Point Pleasant boys basketball team to turn a 1-possession nail-biter into a resounding 75-48 victory over visiting Wahama on Friday night in a matchup of Mason County programs at The Dungeon.
The Black Knights (10-11) ended up celebrating Senior Night in style as the hosts never trailed and shot 58 percent from the field en route to their fourth consecutive triumph.
The White Falcons (0-20), however, put up a pretty good fight for three quarters, even though they trailed over the final 20:26 of regulation.
WHS twice tied the contest early in the second quarter and overcame a double-digit deficit with a 10-2 run that closed the gap down to 41-39 with 3:01 remaining.
The Red and Black ended the third frame with 10 consecutive points for a 51-39 edge, then nailed 10-of-13 field goal attempts as part of a 24-9 surge down the stretch to wrap up the 27-point triumph.
PPHS led 5-0 less than 90 seconds into the game and were ahead by as much as eight points (15-7) with under a minute left in the first before ultimately settling with a 15-10 advantage through eight minutes of play.
Josiah Lloyd hits baskets that tied the game at 15-all and again at 19-all with 4:40 left in the first half, but a Kyelar Morrow trifecta 14 seconds later gave the Red and Black a permanent lead at 22-19.
It was the first of three 3-pointers from Morrow over the final 4:26 of the half, which helped spark an 18-7 charge that gave Point a 37-26 edge headed into the break.
The hosts missed their first five shot attempts of the third frame, while Wahama strung together a 13-4 surge that ended with an Abram Pauley bucket with 3:01 left — cutting the deficit down to 41-39.
Point Pleasant answered with 10 points over the final 101 seconds of the third and secured a 51-39 lead entering the finale.
The Red and White were never closer than 10 points (51-41) 13 seconds into the fourth, and the hosts reeled off 19 of the next 20 points over a 6-minute span. Point also secured its largest lead of the night at 75-47 following an Eric Chapman basket with 32 seconds remaining.
Wahama outrebounded the Black Knights by a 27-24 overall margin, including a 9-4 edge on the offensive glass. The guests also committed 19 of the 29 turnovers in the contest.
Point Pleasant had nine different players reach the scoring column, with four posting double digits in that winning cause. The hosts netted 30-of-52 field goal attempts overall — including 9-of-26 from 3-point range for 35 percent — and also went 6-of-8 at the free throw line for 75 percent.
McKeehan Justus led PPHS with a game-high 19 points, followed by Hunter Bush with 16 points and Chapman with 11 markers. Aidan Sang and Morrow respectively added 10 and nine points for the victors.
Braxton Yates and Jovone Johnson were next with three points apiece, while Trey Peck and Nick Smith completed the winning tally with two points each. Yates led the hosts with six rebounds. Johnson and Bush also hauled in five caroms apiece.
The White Falcons made 15-of-45 shot attempts for 33 percent, including a 7-of-23 effort from 3-point territory for 30 percent. The guests also netted 11-of-17 charity tosses for 65 percent.
Lloyd paced WHS with 14 points, followed by Harrison Panko-Shields with 11 points and Ethan Gray with nine markers. Adam Groves was next with seven points, while Pauley and Michael VanMatre completed things with four and three points.
Gray, Groves, Pauley and Panko-Shields all hauled in six boards apiece in the setback.
Point Pleasant seniors Aidan Sang, Jovone Johnson, Braxton Yates and McKeehan Justus were honored before the game for their respective contributions to the program.
The Black Knights return to action Wednesday night when they host Van at 7 p.m.
Wahama is back on the hardwood Tuesday night when it hosts Roane County at 7 p.m.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.