ASHTON, W. Va. — Sometimes it’s just good to take a break.
The Hannan boys basketball team and visiting Jammie Darrin Christian Academy exchanged the lead five times in the first half, but the Wildcats clawed their way ahead down the stretch en route to a 92-61 win on Thursday night in Mason County.
HHS (6-8) opened with a 6-0 run 33 seconds into the contest, but JDCA (3-9) made 6-of-15 shots from the field — including 4-of-7 from beyond the arc — to take a 19-14 lead into the second frame.
The Blue and White rallied in the second quarter, as Malachi Cade’s trifecta with 5:45 remaining tied the score at 24-all. The teams were engaged in a see-saw exchange, until a three-point play by Dalton Coleman pushed the hosts ahead at 35-33 with 34 seconds left until the intermission.
The Wildcats made 11-of-32 shots from the field for 34 percent, including 5-of-13 from three-point range for 38 percent at the midway point. The Crusaders were a near mirror-image of the hosts, as they converted 11-of-34 field goal tries for 32 percent — including a 5-of-13 performance from long distance.
Both teams collected 19 rebounds and committed six turnovers apiece in the first half.
The game’s momentum shifted solely in the direction of Hannan when played resumed, as the hosts utilized an 8-0 run to take a 43-33 lead with 7:12 remaining in the third period. The Wildcats outscored the Crusaders 24-16 in the third quarter to take a 59-49 into the finale.
Hannan dominated the final eight minutes of play. The Blue and White made 14 field goals, including four three-pointers, as they utilized a 33-12 run to close out the 31-point win.
The Wildcats earned a season sweep of JDCA having proved victorious by a final of 74-54 margin back on Jan. 30 at JDCA.
HHS made 37-of-73 shots from the field for 50 percent, including 13-of-23 from beyond the arc for 56 percent. The Blue and White also shot 5-of-12 from the charity stripe for 41 percent. The Wildcats collected 40 rebounds and committed 13 turnovers.
Cade led the way with 33 markers, including six trifectas. Coleman followed with 17 points, including two three-pointers.
Andrew Gillispie and Matthew Qualls also finished in double figures, with 15 markers and 11 points respectively.
Devrick Burris chipped in six markers, while Logan Nibert finished with five points.
Rounding out the scoring for the Wildcats was Nathan McQueen with one trifecta.
The Crusaders converted on 23-of-65 field goals for 35 percent, including 10-of-26 from three-point range. JDCA went 2-of-4 from the free throw line. The visitors also gathered 31 rebounds and turned the ball over a total of 19 times.
Nathaniel Ellis finished with a game-high 39 points, including seven trifectas. Jake Nagy also finished in double figures as he scored 11 markers.
Tanner Grimmett was next with six points, while Matthew Dotson chipped in three markers. Matthew Layne closed out the scoring with two points.
HHS head coach Becky Ferrell assessed her team’s performance following the game.
“It was a great second half because we played team basketball,” Ferrell said. “We executed better in the second half — I’m very proud of them. We made adjustments at halftime and discussed what they should be doing, and they came out and did it.”
Scott Jones can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106