MASON, W.Va. — Crashing the party … from long distance.
Visiting Point Pleasant hit 10 trifectas and led wire-to-wire Friday while spoiling Senior Night festivities for the Wahama boys basketball team during a 64-46 non-conference victory at Gary Clark Court in a battle of Mason County programs.
The Big Blacks (7-13) received back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers from Braxton Yates and Hunter Bush in the opening 100 seconds of regulation, giving the Red and Black a quick — and permanent — 9-0 cushion.
The White Falcons (3-19) — who committed six turnovers in their first nine possessions — ultimately broke into the scoring column following a Jacob Lloyd basket at the 5:42, sparking a 9-6 run the rest of the period that closed the deficit down to 15-9 through eight minutes of play.
After trading baskets to start the second frame, the Red and White were never closer than 17-11 with 4:21 left in the opening half.
Point followed with an 11-3 charge over the next three-plus minutes as a Yates bucket at the 1:13 mark gave the guests their largest lead of the half at 28-14.
Lloyd countered with a trifecta with 56 seconds remaining in the half, and the hosts entered halftime facing a 28-17 deficit.
The Big Blacks continued their hot hand early into the third stanza after using a 16-4 charge to build their biggest lead of the canto at 44-21 with 3:40 remaining.
Wahama countered with a 12-2 surge as a Dakota Belcher offensive putback trimmed the deficit down to 46-33 with 1:01 left, but Jordan Daubenmire’s offensive putback with four seconds left allowed the Red and Black to take a 15-point advantage into the finale.
The White Falcons twice closed the deficit down to a dozen points, the last of which came at 52-40 after a Jacob Warth basket with 5:04 left in regulation.
The guests retaliated with seven straight points over the next 2:40 and secured their largest lead of the night at 64-45 after a Nick Smith bucket with 32 seconds remaining. Belcher wrapped up the final 18-point outcome with a free throw with 16.5 seconds left.
It was the third straight victory for Point Pleasant, as well as its fifth triumph in the last six outings.
PPHS coach Josh Williams was once again pleased with the overall performance from his troops, especially given the environment of this big road contest between county rivals.
“When the ball goes in, our defense picks up. We hit some shots early and we got some turnovers early, and things just kind of took off from there,” Williams said. “It wasn’t perfect or flawless in any way on our part, and give Wahama credit for continuing to battle, but this was a big win for us. There was a good crowd tonight and it felt like a tournament atmosphere, especially being on the road. We just played our game and did what we do.
“The kids are showing how much we’ve grown this season. I’m really proud of them and they deserve these results the last few weeks. We’re playing well and having fun right now … and it couldn’t come at a better time.”
Wahama committed 22 of the 30 turnovers in the contest, with 13 of those coming in the opening 16 minutes of play. The Big Blacks, conversely, had four miscues in each half.
The White Falcons made seven trifectas and shot a respectable 36 percent from the field, but the early miscues ultimately made too much of a difference to overcome.
“We had too many turnovers early on, plain and simple. We knew there would be some mistakes facing that 1-3-1 trap that Point Pleasant runs, but we just didn’t handle the pressure very well at the start,” WHS coach Ron Bradley said. “When we executed what we wanted to do later on by attacking it, we got some good looks at some shots and managed to make a competitive run. I cannot fault the kids’ effort though. I thought we played hard, but we just didn’t match our execution to our effort.”
Wahama outrebounded the guests by a 32-28 overall margin, but Point claimed a 14-12 edge on the offensive glass.
The Big Blacks netted 24-of-64 field goal attempts for 38 percent, including a 10-of-39 effort from behind the arc for 26 percent. The Red and Black also went 8-of-21 at the free throw line for 38 percent.
Bush poured in 17 first half points en route to a game-high 28 points, followed by Yates with 13 points and Kyelar Morrow with 11 markers. Daubenmire was next with six points, with Smith, Damon Thompson and Aidan Sang completing the winning tally with two points each.
Jovone Johnson led PPHS with six rebounds and Yates was next with five caroms. Morrow and Bush also grabbed four boards apiece in the triumph.
Wahama made 15-of-42 shot attempts for 36 percent, including a 7-of-19 effort from 3-point territory for 37 percent. WHS was 9-of-18 at the charity stripe for 50 percent.
Lloyd led the hosts with 23 points, followed by Dakota Belcher with eight points and a game-high eight rebounds. Jacob Warth also had six markers in the setback.
Abram Pauley and Brady Bumgarner completed the White Falcon tally with five and four points, respectively.
Lloyd also hauled in six rebounds for Wahama, while Bumgarner and Adam Groves each grabbed five caroms.
Wahama honored seniors Cooper Peters, Dakota Belcher, Ryan Beckner, Brady Bumgarner, Jonathan Frye, Joacb Warth and Jacob Lloyd before the game for their collective contributions to the program over the years.
Point Pleasant returns to action Tuesday when it travels to Wayne for a non-conference matchup at 6 p.m.
The White Falcons’ next contest will be the start of the Class A Region IV, Section 1 tournament at a yet to be determined time and location.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.