ASHTON, W.Va. — A tale of two halves.
After a 45 percent effort from the field in the opening 16 minutes of play, the Hannan boys basketball team watched its second half shooting touch turn as frigid as the weather Friday night following a 49-39 setback to visiting Van in a non-conference matchup in Mason County.
The Wildcats (1-7) never trailed in the first half, as the hosts stormed out to a 7-0 lead four minutes into regulation before claiming an 11-4 edge after eight minutes of play.
HHS kept that momentum going in the second canto with a 12-8 run, which included a 6-0 run over the final 2:13 — giving the hosts their largest lead of the night with a 23-12 advantage at the break.
Then the winds of change swept through after halftime, as the Wildcats made only 6-of-35 shot attempts the rest of the way — including a 2-of-21 effort from behind the arc. The Bulldogs (2-5) took advantage of the situation by netting 9-of-19 field goal attempts in the third while going on a 26-8 surge to secure a 34-31 lead headed into the finale.
The Wildcats clawed back to within 36-34 after Tyler Burns netted a field goal with 5:54 remaining in regulation, but the guests closed the final five minutes with a 13-5 spurt to wrap up the 10-point outcome.
There were two ties and six lead changes in the contest, and all of that except one lead change came in the third period. Van made a 13-2 run over the opening 3:12 of the canto to knot things up at 25-all, then both teams found themselves deadlocked again at 30 with 2:43 remaining.
Hannan took its final lead at 31-30 following a free throw by Charles Mayes, but VHS answered by taking a permanent lead 14 seconds later after Logan Crouse netted a basket for a 32-31 edge. Cole Price added a field goal at the 1:23 mark to give the guests a three-point lead entering the fourth.
The Bulldogs — who overcame a 6-of-28 shooting performance in the first half — took the largest lead of the game with 41 seconds left in regulation after Crouse sank a free throw for a 48-36 cushion. The Wildcats were also held scoreless from the 4:49 mark of the fourth until 15 seconds remained in the contest.
VHS outrebounded the hosts by a 46-42 overall margin, which included a 14-11 edge on the offensive glass. Hannan committed 16 turnovers in the setback, compared to just a dozen by Van.
The Wildcats connected on 16-of-57 shot attempts for 28 percent, including a 3-of-25 effort from behind the arc for 12 percent. HHS was also 4-of-14 at the free throw line for 29 percent.
Will Harbour led Hannan with a game-high 16 points, followed by Tyler Burns with 14 markers. Charles Mayes, Adam Wilson and Jeremy Schofield rounded out the scoring with three points apiece. Harbour also picked up his fifth personal foul with 4:07 remaining in regulation.
Van finished the night 19-of-61 from the field for 31 percent, including a 3-of-21 effort from three-point range for 14 percent. The guests were also 8-of-20 at the charity stripe for 40 percent.
Logan Crouse paced the Bulldogs with 13 points, followed by Eddy Yeager with 10 points and Cole Price with eight markers. Brandon Elswick and Keith Blevins also chipped in seven and five points, respectively, to the winning cause.