Big Blacks overcome rally to top Meigs


By Paul Boggs - pboggs@civitasmedia.com



Meigs’ Devon Hawley (30) puts up a shot over Point Pleasant’s Will Harbour (25) during Tuesday night’s non-league boys basketball game at Point Pleasant High School.


Paul Boggs/OVP Sports

Point Pleasant’s Doug Workman (22) puts up a shot over Meigs’ Dillon Mahr during Tuesday night’s non-league boys basketball game at Point Pleasant High School.


Paul Boggs/OVP Sports

POINT PLEASANT, W. Va. — Doug Workman went out of his way to give the Big Blacks their gigantic lead.

He was even more determined to make sure a second Point Pleasant push didn’t end up as another massive Meigs comeback.

The senior Workman went off for a game-high 30 points, including the opening six in overtime in a matter of a minute, as Point Pleasant — after enduring the visiting Marauders making a rally for the ages — captured an 83-75 boys basketball victory on Tuesday night in “The Dungeon.”

“We got a second life tonight,” said PPHS coach Josh Williams. “With the overtime, we were fortunate, and Doug (Workman) stepped up and made some big plays and I think the kids fed off of that. It doesn’t take much to get him going.”

Williams was also quick to explain that his Big Blacks, after only four wins all of last season, are still in the learning process — despite their now 9-3 record.

“To lose that big of a lead and come back and fight, our kids are still learning how to win. They could have just crumbled,” he said. “Hats off to Meigs for fighting all the way back and giving us fits. To give this one up in the fashion that we could have, it could have been real damaging for us. But we’re focusing on the positives from this and learning from the negatives.”

And, there was plenty of both for both sides.

In absolutely a tale of two halves, or even arguably three quarters, the Big Blacks burst out for a whopping 33-5 advantage — with six minutes and 20 seconds to play in the second quarter.

Workman, the three-point sharpshooting specialist, was responsible for three threes — as part of a squad seven in the opening half.

An insurmountable edge, right?

Well think again.

That’s because the Marauders — already with two come-from-behind triumphs as part of their eight-game winning streak that ended at Vinton County — really outdid themselves on Tuesday.

Meigs managed to cut the deficit at halftime to 38-21, then outscored the Big Blacks 18-10 in the third period to get within single digits at 48-39.

Finally, as missed shots piled up for Point Pleasant against Meigs’ patented 1-3-1 zone, the Marauders mounted their most furious charge in the fourth quarter — scoring 23 points and reclaiming the lead at 61-60 with 36 seconds to play.

“It took us forever to get going, and we exerted a lot of energy in regulation to come back, but I’m very proud of our kids for not quitting and showing a lot of resiliency,” said Meigs coach Ed Fry. “I know we’re capable of coming back, but we just dug way too deep of a hole there at the beginning. Point Pleasant shot the ball so well in the first half. You have to give them a lot of credit. They are vastly improved and they can really shoot the ball before they get tired. We just had to hang in there and answer them back until our defense started wearing them down. We just couldn’t get anything going offensively to answer them back in the first 11 minutes. We changed up at halftime and said nothing but going to the basket. We had to get them in foul trouble and we had to score with the clock stopped.”

It was the Marauders’ first lead since clear back at 2-0, but Camron Long landed a pair of free throws for the Big Blacks — making it 62-61 with 6.6 seconds showing.

However, and with the actual time on the clock down to the exact tenth-of-a-second being debated about, the Marauders made it to the free-throw line one last time in regulation —as Dillon Mahr made the first of the double-bonus with 1.3 seconds left.

But Mahr missed his second shot which would have given the Marauders the lead again — and Luke Musser’s rebound putback attempt got blocked by Will Harbour.

Then, in the unlikely overtime period, it was Workman going back to work.

He opened the extra session with an old-fashioned three-point play, then drained his fifth and final three-ball to make it 68-62 at the 2:55 mark.

He later landed his final field goal to make it 75-67, as the Big Blacks scored 21 points in the four-minute overtime to outlast the Marauders.

Workman finished with 10 total field goals — five twos and five threes —along with 5-of-6 foul shots.

As the fourth quarter and overtime turned into a free-throw shooting contest, Point Pleasant made 17-of-24 in the dozen-minute span, including 13-of-17 in the extra frame.

As a club, the Big Blacks sank 19-of-30 — as Meigs never got closer than four points twice in overtime.

“We were able to make free throws when we needed them,” said Williams.

Good thing for the Big Blacks that they did — for they didn’t make many second-half shots against the Marauders’ zone.

“Meigs is methodical with that 1-3-1. They hang their hat on it. It’s just a hard defense to prepare for, especially when someone runs it as well as they do. I told our kids at halftime that they would make some adjustments with it, but they are not coming out of it. We got away from doing what worked in the first half,” said Williams. “We settled for quicker shots with the lead and we stopped attacking the gaps and looking for the high post.”

Parker Rairden, on five total field goals and 6-of-9 free throws, recorded 17 points —while Harbour hit six field goals for a dozen.

Cason Payne posted 10 points, followed by Long with a three and 5-of-6 freebies.

Trace Derenberger, on a basket and foul shot in overtime, and Braydon Ralbusky — on an overtime free throw —rounded out the Big Blacks’ scoring.

Both teams tallied 25 total field goals, as Musser, Christian Mattox and Jared Kennedy all amounted 17 points to pace the Marauders.

Mattox and Musser made three triples apiece, as Kennedy converted six field goals and 5-of-9 free throws.

Kennedy also ripped down 16 rebounds.

Mahr, on five field goals and 6-of-8 tosses, chipped in 16 points.

Devon Hawley with five second-period points, Zach Bartrum with a pair of fourth-quarter foul shots, and Weston Baer with an overtime free throw rounded out the Maroon and Gold.

The Marauders fell to 8-6 with the loss, but Fry said there was no shame at all with Tuesday’s defeat.

“We’re a good basketball team,” he said. “We’re not the same team that started out 0-4 by any means. That’s a credit to our kids really focusing in on what we need to do.”

Williams concurred that the Big Blacks’ win was one of “quality.”

“I will take this as a quality win against a quality team. Meigs is a good team, won eight in a row there, and their confidence was high,” he said. “We knew it would be a tough one. We hit shots and attacked well early, but basketball is a game of runs. They answered our run with a run, and then we had the last run in overtime.”

Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106

Meigs’ Devon Hawley (30) puts up a shot over Point Pleasant’s Will Harbour (25) during Tuesday night’s non-league boys basketball game at Point Pleasant High School.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2017/01/web1_1.19-MHS-Hawley.jpgMeigs’ Devon Hawley (30) puts up a shot over Point Pleasant’s Will Harbour (25) during Tuesday night’s non-league boys basketball game at Point Pleasant High School. Paul Boggs/OVP Sports

Point Pleasant’s Doug Workman (22) puts up a shot over Meigs’ Dillon Mahr during Tuesday night’s non-league boys basketball game at Point Pleasant High School.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2017/01/web1_1.19-PP-Workman.jpgPoint Pleasant’s Doug Workman (22) puts up a shot over Meigs’ Dillon Mahr during Tuesday night’s non-league boys basketball game at Point Pleasant High School. Paul Boggs/OVP Sports

By Paul Boggs

pboggs@civitasmedia.com