NITRO, W.Va. — You can’t leave a story halfway done, especially the first chapter.
After a competitive first half, the Point Pleasant boys basketball team faced their share of struggles in a 63-32 road loss to the Nitro Wildcats Tuesday evening.
This was the 2021-22 season opener for both teams.
Tuesday’s game opened slowly for both squads, with only the Big Blacks (0-1) scoring two points in the first two minutes.
The Big Blacks and the Wildcats soon warmed up, however, with the home team taking a 10-9 lead with 3:13 to go in the first quarter.
The two teams traded points and leads throughout the rest of the first quarter.
With under a minute to go in the first, Point Pleasant tied things up 15-15 with a 3-pointer.
After the Wildcats took the lead back in the opening minute of the second, the host team proceeded to go on an 11-3 scoring run to jump ahead on the scoreboard.
However, the Big Blacks kept in contention thanks to a couple 3-pointers made by junior Eric Chapman, heading into the locker rooms down 28-24.
In the second half, the Red and Black ran into many struggles on offense, having trouble getting their shots to land from the outside and the Nitro defense keeping them from getting into the paint.
The hosting Wildcats used these struggles to their advantage, jumping ahead on a 9-0 scoring run.
The Big Blacks also had trouble with turning the ball over, making bad passes in bounds, which the Wildcats intercepted and converted into points of their own.
Point Pleasant was only able to score six points in the third quarter, leaving them with a 20-point deficit on the scoreboard, Nitro leading 50-30 heading into the final quarter.
The same struggles followed the Big Blacks into the fourth, with the Wildcats mounting on the points more and more.
The Red and Black got their only points of the fourth quarter with under two minutes to go, which happened to be the final points of the entire contest.
The Big Blacks ended Tuesday’s game with five 3-pointers and eight field goals, compared to the Wildcats’ line of eight 3-pointers and 17 field goals.
The one area of shooting Point Pleasant struggled with was free throws.
The Big Blacks only got one free throw out of six attempts, while Nitro went 5-for-6.
Leading the Big Blacks in scoring was Chapman, who recorded three 3-pointers, three field goals and one free throw for a total of 16 points.
Behind him was senior Zach Beckett and junior Peyton Murphy, who both recorded six points.
Rounding out the Point Pleasant scoring were Grant Barton with two points and Zach McDaniel with two points.
Leading the Wildcats in scoring was Kolton Painter, who had two 3-pointers, five field goals and three free throws for 19 points.
In rebounds, the Big Blacks had 22, led by Chapman with five, while the Wildcats had 28, led by Painter with 10.
The Big Blacks will be back on the court at 7:30 p.m. Friday when they host the Ripley Vikings.
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Colton Jeffries can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.