TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — The Big Blacks have certainly had a December to remember.
The Point Pleasant boys basketball team finished the final month of 2016 with a seven-game winning streak, capped off by a 75-45 victory over non-conference host Eastern, on Friday night in ‘The Nest’.
The Big Blacks (7-1) never trailed in the game, outscoring Eastern (3-4) by a 19-to-6 clip in the opening quarter. The Eagles cut the lead to single digits at 33-24, seven minutes into the second quarter, but PPHS sank a three-pointer just before the halftime buzzer, and the Big Blacks led 36-24 at the break.
Point Pleasant hit 9-of-11 field goal attempts in the third quarter, as the Red, Black and White pushed their lead to 60-32, with eight minutes to play.
The Big Blacks extended their lead as high as 34 in the final quarter, as the guests cruised to the 75-45 victory.
“We feel like we have some good shooters and in our offense, it’s our theme to be unselfish,” said PPHS head coach Josh Williams. “We just tell them to keep the ball moving and it’ll find the open player. It was just one of those nights where multiple guys were on and if we get that, we’re hard to defend. I think they played selfless ball tonight. Defensively, they came with some energy tonight, compared to the last game.”
For the game, PPHS shot 28-of-51 (54.9 percent) from the field, including 10-of-24 (41.7 percent) from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Eastern was 19-of-47 (40.4 percent) from the field, including 3-of-11 (27.3 percent) from deep. Point Pleasant made 9-of-11 (81.8 percent) free throw attempts, while EHS was 4-of-7 (57.1 percent) from the stripe.
Point Pleasant won the rebounding battle by a 31-to-18 clip, including 9-to-7 on the offensive glass. As a team, PPHS recorded 24 assists, four steals and just five turnovers, while Eastern had 13 assists, two steals and eight turnovers.
“When you have an outcome where you get beat by 30 and you only had eight turnovers, I guess that’s something you can smile about,” EHS head coach Jeremy Hill said. “We defiantly have been turning the ball over too much lately and for us to only have eight turnovers is good. We didn’t make very many shots and they had too many possessions. There were probably at least 15 possessions where we shot the ball after one pass and your not going to get very many good looks shooting that quick.”
PPHS senior Doug Workman led the victors with a double-double effort of 27 points and 10 rebounds. Parker Rairden scored 17 points and dished out five assists, Will Harbour added nine points and seven rebounds, while Evan Thompson chipped in with six points.
Cason Payne and Camron Long both scored five points for the guests, with Payne also dishing out five assists. The Point Pleasant offense was rounded out by Trace Derenberger with four points and Braydon Ralbusky with two.
Point Pleasant’s defense was led by Rairden and Harbour with two steals each.
EHS senior Jett Facemyer led the hosts with 14 points, followed by Sharp Facemyer with 13 points and four assists. Garrett Barringer scored eight points, Jeremiah Martindale posted four points and a team-best five rebounds, while Nate Durst, Corbett Catlett and John Little each scored two points.
Catlett and Sharp Facemyer both came up with a steal for the Eagle defense.
“Workman is by far the best basketball player we’ve seen, or maybe even will see,” Coach Hill said. “Point Pleasant has a very nice ball club, they’re going to be very successful, I’d imagine. I’m not real sure what we could have done to slow them up, they shot the ball very well, and of course our defense allowed a little bit of that. We’re just going to go back to work on Monday to get ready for Meigs.”
Both teams are back in action on Tuesday, when Eastern hosts Meigs and Point Pleasant visits St. Albans.
“This team is still learning and figuring out how to win,” Coach Williams said. “They’re feeling confident, they’re feeling good about themselves and now they have to learn how to handle success. We’ll be on the road after the new year’s break, going to St. Albans, and that’s going to be a great test to see how far we’ve come. We got back to doing some of the little things and had a good couple of practices.”
Point Pleasant’s seven victories matches its win total for the last two seasons, as PPHS went 4-19 last season and 3-19 the year before.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.