NITRO, W.Va. — Tough start. Tough finish.
Host Nitro stormed out to a 25-4 first quarter advantage and never looked back Wednesday night during an 82-40 victory over the Point Pleasant boys basketball team in a non-conference matchup in Kanawha County.
The visiting Big Blacks (10-10) dropped their sixth straight decision as the Wildcats (13-7) picked up their seventh straight win while also salvaging a season split with PPHS. Point Pleasant — which was at full strength at the time — posted a 63-50 decision over NHS in Mason County back on December 20.
Austin Woodrum scored nine points during that pivotal first quarter run, which allowed Nitro to secure a 21-point cushion through eight minutes of play.
Will Harbour answered with six second period points for the Big Blacks, but the Wildcats made a 16-10 run to close out the half for a 41-14 edge at the break.
Harbour added another eight points in the third, but the hosts again won the quarter with a 15-13 run that resulted in a 66-27 lead headed into the finale.
Braxton Yates tallied seven points for PPHS down the stretch run, but the hosts closed regulation with a 16-13 run that resulted in the final 42-point outcome.
The Big Blacks made two of their 17 total field goals from behind the arc and also went 4-of-5 at the free throw line for 80 percent.
Harbour led the guests with 18 points, followed by Yates with 11 points and Parker Rairden with five markers. Camron Long and Trace Derenberger completed the scoring with four and two points, respectively.
The Wildcats had a dozen different players reach the scoring column in the triumph, led by Woodrum with a game-high 21 points. William Brooks was next with 17 points and Deshawn Womack added 13 markers, while Joel Sweat chipped in six points.
Joey Buckalew, Landon Rogue and Corey Kennedy were next with four points apiece, while Jonathon Brooks, Andrew Mahairas and Zane Brooks each scored three points. Michael Martin and Blake Green rounded things out with two points apiece.
NHS made eight of its 34 total field goals from behind the arc and also made all six of its free throw attempts.
Point Pleasant returns to action Tuesday when it travels to Lincoln County for a non-conference contest at 6 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.