POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — What a difference a day made.
After hitting 14 trifectas and shooting 56 percent from the field just 24 hours earlier against Hannan, the Point Pleasant boys basketball team connected on only 19 percent of its second half shot attempts Friday night during a 60-46 setback to visiting Lincoln County during a non-conference matchup at The Dungeon in Mason County.
The Big Blacks (8-3) shot 56 percent from the field in the opening half of play, but the hosts led only 2:17 of that 16-minute span as the Panthers (7-4) rallied from a 3-0 deficit to take a 14-10 first quarter advantage.
LCHS — which made half of its 22 first half shot attempts — increased its lead to as many as seven points after a quick 5-2 run made it a 19-12 contest with 7:01 left, but the Red and Black answered with a 7-1 surge over the next two minutes to close back to within a point at 20-19.
The Black and Blue, however, retaliated with a 10-3 run over the next 4:15, which led to their largest lead of the first half at 30-22 with 49 seconds remaining.
Point Pleasant’s Will Harbour tacked on a short jumper with 19 seconds left, allowing the hosts to enter halftime trailing 30-24.
The Big Blacks hit three of their first four shots of the third period as part of a 13-6 surge, with a pair of Parker Rairden free throws giving PPHS its final lead of the game at 37-36 with 3:42 left.
The hosts went on to muster only one field goal and nine total points the rest of the way.
LCHS followed with a basket by Jacob Kirkendall at the 3:21 mark that resulted in a permanent lead while also sparking a 6-1 run to close out the third period with a 42-38 edge.
Douglas Workman drilled a trifecta with 6:28 remaining to pull Point to within 42-41, but the hosts missed their final 11 field goal tries of the contest.
The Panthers made a 14-5 charge over the next six minutes en route to their first double-digit lead at 56-46, then converted four consecutive free throws in the final 40 seconds to wrap up their largest lead of the night with a 14-point triumph.
After playing at such a high level for nearly six-and-a-half quarters over a 24-hour span, Point Pleasant appeared to simply hit the wall over the final 10 minutes of regulation during a 25-10 LCHS charge.
The Big Blacks committed only nine of the 20 turnovers in the contest, but the hosts were outrebounded by a sizable 26-17 overall margin — which included a 7-4 deficit on the offensive glass.
PPHS coach Josh Williams acknowledged that his squad played a solid game from certain aspects, but he never felt that they were the hungrier of the two teams on the floor — and that was one of the big things that came back to bite them.
“The kids gave a good effort, but we never seemed to match that same intensity level that we had the night before against Hannan,” Williams said. “We weren’t diving on the floor after loose balls and we didn’t get many second chances on the boards tonight. Lincoln County certainly had a lot to do with that, but we just didn’t seem to have that same focus that we normally do.
“It’s not easy to play games on back to back nights, especially coming off a big win in county, but part of why we scheduled this was because we thought it would be a good test for our guys. We may not have passed this test at the end of the night, but I think everybody learned something that will help us later on in the season.”
The Big Blacks netted 13-of-37 field goal attempts for 35 percent, including a 6-of-22 effort from three-point range for 27 percent. The hosts also made an impressive 16-of-18 free throw attempts for 89 percent.
Workman led Point Pleasant with five trifectas and a game-high 21 points, followed by Rairden with seven markers. Cason Payne and Will Harbour were next with six points apiece, with Harbour adding a team-best six rebounds.
Camron Long was next with three points and Trace Derenberger chipped in two markers, while Austin Liptrap rounded out the scoring with one point. Workman also hauled in three caroms for the Red and Black, while Payne and Matthew Martin each brought down two boards.
The Panthers had a quintet of players account for all of their scoring, with all five also reaching double digits in the triumph. LCHS netted 22-of-45 shot attempts for 49 percent, which included a 7-of-17 effort from behind the arc for 41 percent.
Corey Rusk led the guests with 16 points, followed by Nate Spencer with 13 points and Kirkendall with 11 markers. Caleb Rusk and Jake Ashley also chipped in 10 points apiece for the victors, who were 9-of-13 at the charity stripe for 69 percent.
Kirkendall led Lincoln County with a game-high eight rebounds, followed by Spencer and Ashley with five caroms apiece.
Point Pleasant returns to action Tuesday when it hosts Meigs in a non-conference tilt at 7 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.
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