POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Someone was getting an early Christmas gift … the only question was which winless team would receive it?
The Point Pleasant boys basketball team never trailed and notched its first win of the 2021-22 campaign on Tuesday night with a 51-37 victory over visiting Eastern in a non-conference matchup at The Dungeon in Mason County.
The host Big Blacks (1-4) ultimately led by at least three possessions in each of the four quarters played and forced all kinds of problems for the Eagles (0-8) early on as the guests went 1-for-4 from the field and committed eight turnovers on their first dozen possessions of regulation.
PPHS, however, also stumbled out of the gates after missing its first seven shot attempts before finally breaking the scoreless contest with 4:07 left in the opening frame.
EHS rallied to knot things up at 2-all after a Trey Hill basket with 3:42 to go, but a Zach McDaniel trifecta with a minute left allowed Point to complete a 10-3 surge over the final three minutes for a 12-5 edge after one period of play.
An Eric Chapman offensive rebound and putback dunk with 5:52 left in the half allowed the Big Blacks to complete a 7-3 run that gave them their largest lead of the first half at 19-8, but the Green and Gold countered with a 13-5 charge that closed the gap down to 24-21 with 1:19 remaining.
Chapman added a basket with 15 seconds remaining to give Point a 26-21 advantage headed into the break.
Jace Bullington provided Eastern with a free throw 46 seconds into the second half to whittle the deficit down to 26-22, but the guests were never closer the rest of the way. PPHS used a 14-9 run over the rest of the third frame to secure a 40-31 lead entering the finale.
The Big Blacks twice led by as many as 14 points down the stretch and closed regulation with an 11-6 run to complete the 14-point triumph.
Point Pleasant outrebounded the Eagles by a 39-35 overall margin, including a 13-7 edge on the offensive glass. The hosts also committed 19 of the 40 turnovers in the contest.
PPHS made 19-of-55 field goal attempts for 35 percent, including a 4-of-21 effort from 3-point range for 19 percent. The hosts also netted 9-of-14 free throw attempts for 64 percent.
Eric Chapman paced Point Pleasant with a double-double effort of 17 points and 15 rebounds, followed by Peyton Murphy with 12 points and McDaniel with five markers. Murphy also grabbed nine caroms for the victors.
Grant Barton and Luke Derenberger were next with four points each, while Zach Beckett added three points. Josh Chapman and Josh Towe completed the winning mark with two points and one point, respectively.
The Eagles sank 15-of-50 shot attempts for 30 percent, including a 3-of-10 effort from behind the arc for 30 percent. The guests were also 4-of-13 from the charity stripe for 31 percent.
Hill led Eastern with nine points, with Bullington and Gavin Murphy each chipping in eight points. Bryce Newland and Cooper Barrett were next with four points apiece, while Brady Rockhold and Brayden O’Brien completed things with three and two points.
Bullington led EHS with nine rebounds and Murphy also grabbed seven boards in the setback.
Point Pleasant returns to action Thursday when it travels to Lincoln County for a non-conference matchup at 7 p.m.
Eastern next plays on Wednesday, Dec. 29, when it heads to Vinton County for a non-conference battle at 7 p.m.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.