MASON, W.Va. — It had been a long time coming.
The Wahama girls basketball team gave Elizabeth Mullins the memory of a lifetime on Thursday as the Lady Falcons won their first Senior Night contest in six years following a 72-22 non-conference decision over visiting Ohio Valley Christian at Gary Clark Court.
The Lady Falcons (8-14) honored Mullins for her contributions to the program before the game, then the hosts proceeded to get seven of their eight players in the scoring column while leading wire-to-wire in the 50-point triumph.
The Red and White last won a Senior Night finale back on Feb. 13, 2012, during a 78-67 decision over visiting Buffalo.
Wahama shot 43 percent from the field and hit half of its 14 three-point attempts while also dominating the glass by a 49-21 overall margin. The hosts also grabbed 24 of the 30 offensive rebounds in the game and committed only seven of the 27 total turnovers.
The Lady Defenders (3-15) were held scoreless in the third frame and mustered only four points total in the middle periods, allowing the hosts to turn a 23-9 first quarter lead into a comfortable 58-13 cushion entering the finale.
Both teams did their best to clear the benches down the stretch as nine different players scored over the final eight minutes of regulation. The Lady Falcons — who never allowed double digits in any one quarter — made a 14-9 run in the fourth to complete the overwhelming victory.
The game went about as well as WHS coach John Arnott could have hoped for, mainly in building up some confidence as his troops prepared to open postseason play Friday as Wirt County came to town for a Class A Region IV, Section 1 contest.
More importantly, Arnott was glad to see Mullins get rewarded with a home win during this season of change.
“It was the kind of game we’ve needed. Everybody got to contribute, there weren’t very many turnovers and it’s a good way to close out the regular season,” Arnott said. “It’s a good night for the kids and a good night for Lizzy. She’s been dedicated to this program, so it’s nice to send her out with a win.
“We’ve made some real progress this year and we’re fortunate to have a tournament game at home. We have another chance to grow by learning how to win in the postseason. Let’s see if we cannot play a few more games.”
Mullins actually scored Wahama’s first and last points of the night, which included a free throw 30 seconds in that gave the hosts a permanent lead.
OVCS faced a 6-0 deficit before finally getting into the scoring column Kristen Durst hit two free throws at the 5:48 mark, but Hannah Rose hit four trifectas and scored 14 points in the opening frame as the Lady Falcons built a 23-9 advantage.
The Red and White made another 6-0 run to start the second stanza and closed the final 3:50 with a small 5-4 spurt that gave the hosts a 34-13 lead at the break.
The Blue and Gold misfired on all 11 of their third quarter shot attempts, while Wahama went 9-of-18 from the floor and got another 11 points from Rose during a 24-0 surge that gave WHS a resounding 58-13 lead with eight minutes left.
Mullins capped a 14-6 run with 30 seconds left as her layup gave Wahama its largest lead of the night at 72-19.
Marcie Kessinger nailed a three-pointer with 13 seconds remaining to wrap up the 50-point outcome.
The Lady Falcons made 30-of-70 field goal attempts overall and also went 6-of-16 at the free throw line for 38 percent.
Rose led the hosts with a game-high 34 points, which included seven trifectas in the process. Emma Gibbs was next with a double-double effort of 16 points and 26 rebounds, followed by Mullins and Harley Roush with six markers apiece.
Victoria VanMatre and Emily VanMatre were next with four points apiece, while Gracie VanMeter completed the winning tally with two markers. Victoria VanMatre and Roush also hauled in eight and five boards, respectively.
OVCS netted 7-of-38 field goal attempts for 18 percent, including a 3-of-16 effort from behind the arc for 19 percent. The guests were also 5-of-12 at the charity stripe for 42 percent.
Emily Childers paced the Lady Defenders with six points, followed by Durst and Lauren Ragan with four points each. Kessinger was next with three markers, while Cori Hutchison and Lalla Hurlow added two points apiece. Chloe Payne completed the scoring with one point.
Childers led OVCS with eight rebounds, with Ragan and Olivia Neal following with three caroms apiece.
Wahama hosted Wirt County in a postseason game on Friday night and will play early next week if it prevails.
Ohio Valley Christian traveled to Dayton Temple Christian on Friday night for its OCSAA Southeast Region opening round contest.
The Lady Defenders host Heritage Christian on Monday as part of a boys-girls doubleheader that also serves as Senior Night. The girls tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.