POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — When the going got tough, the tough got going.
An 8-2 run over the final 1:12 of regulation allowed the Point Pleasant boys basketball team to win its fourth straight game Friday night following a 73-67 decision over visiting Logan in a non-conference matchup in Mason County.
The Big Blacks (9-6) started well, as the hosts jumped out to a 17-7 advantage after eight minutes and led by as many as 12 points in the opening minute of the second stanza. The Wildcats (6-7), however, never lost their poise after their slow start, and the guests made a 21-16 second quarter surge to close to within 33-28 at the intermission.
PPHS pushed its lead out to 39-33 with 4:45 left in the third canto, but Josh Rein capped a 5-0 spurt with a trifecta — allowing LHS to close to within a point at 39-38 with under three minutes remaining.
Evan Potter converted an old-fashioned three-point play at the 2:18 mark, sparking an 8-4 run over the final two minutes and allowing the hosts to secure a 47-42 edge headed into the finale.
Nick Templeton hit a trifecta and Aden Yates added a basket in the opening 30 seconds of the fourth, then Wade Martin tacked on two free throws a minute later to increase the Point Pleasant lead up to 54-42.
Both teams traded baskets to keep the point difference at a dozen markers, but Logan answered with an 18-5 charge to close to within a possession at 64-62 with 2:21 remaining.
Yates netted one of two free throws to extend the lead out to three points, but Zach Acord drilled a three-pointer with 1:17 left to complete the comeback effort by tying things up at 65-all.
Alex Somerville hit two charity tosses five seconds later, allowing the hosts to claim a permanent lead at 67-65. Wade Martin added four consecutive free throws, then made a steal and the ensuing layup attempt to give the Big Blacks a 73-65 cushion with 26 seconds remaining.
Brynden ‘Worm’ Street added the final basket of the game for Logan with 16 seconds left, wrapping up the six-point outcome. Point Pleasant claimed a season sweep of the Wildcats after posting a 62-58 victory at LHS back on Jan. 11.
Wade Martin led PPHS with 24 points, which included a perfect 12-of-12 effort from the foul stripe. Alex Somerville was next with 23 points, while Nick Templeton and Evan Potter respectively chipped in 10 and seven markers.
Aden Yates contributed five points to the winning cause, while Garrett Norris and Brian Gibbs rounded things out with two markers apiece. The Big Blacks were 27-of-32 at the free throw line for 84 percent.
Brynden Street paced Logan with 24 points, followed by Zach Acord and Braxton Goff with nine points apiece and Trevor Abbott with eight markers. The guests were 18-of-21 at the charity stripe for 86 percent.
Notes: Point Pleasant High School passed out orange ribbons to all fans in attendance Friday night, in honor of Logan sophomore Skyler Miller — who was recently diagnosed with leukemia for a second time.
Logan head basketball coach Mark Hatcher was truly moved by the touching display, and made sure to make it known following the tough-luck loss.
“The gesture by the crowd here tonight, wearing the ribbons for Skyler, that was pretty big for us,” Hatcher said. “I know that this community has dealt with some tragedy with the Smith family recently, and both of these communities still have a feel to them that the school is the central part of the town.
“We’ve had some good hard-fought games over the years, but the biggest thing for me tonight is for everyone in Point Pleasant to know that we appreciate your support for one of ours. We really do appreciate it.”