POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — When the going got tough, the Lady Knights got going.
Trailing 18-17 three minutes into the third period, the Point Pleasant girls basketball team made a 31-12 surge over the remainder of regulation while salvaging a season split with visiting Hannan Thursday night during a 48-30 victory in a non-conference matchup between Mason County programs.
The Lady Knights (3-16) never trailed in the first half and were up by as many as nine points (17-8) with two minutes left in the second quarter, but the Lady Cats (6-13) countered with a quick 5-0 run to enter halftime trailing 17-13.
HHS continued that momentum into the early moments of the third period as the Blue and White took their only lead following a Lindsey Holley basket at the 5:44 mark, which made it an 18-17 contest.
The hosts, however, answered with a Peyton Campbell basket at the 4:55 mark, allowing PPHS to secure a permanent lead at 19-18. Point Pleasant extending its defense to a full court press from there — which resulted in 22 second half turnovers by Hannan.
HHS committed 10 turnovers in the third period as the Lady Knights closed the final 4:06 on a 15-4 surge for a 34-22 edge, then ended regulation on a 14-8 run to wrap up the 18-point outcome — the largest lead of the game.
Point Pleasant also completed a 41-point turnaround after dropping a 55-32 decision in the first meeting in Ashton back on December 16.
Following the game, fourth-year PPHS coach John Fields admitted that his girls felt a little bit of pressure coming in — being the county’s biggest school while playing the smallest. He also noted that his troops really rose to the occasion when the opportunity presented itself.
“We worked hard tonight because the girls expected to win this game. We didn’t discuss it a whole lot, but I did remind the girls that we lost by 23 points the first time we played,” Fields said. “We knew we had a chance to make things right tonight and I think our defensive pressure in the second half made all the difference. It picked up our energy and deflated their energy.
“It was a good effort and good win for our kids, and now we can try to build some momentum from this headed into the tournament.”
Fourth-year HHS coach Kellie Thomas was disappointed in the final outcome, but did give credit to Point Pleasant and its defensive attack.
“We panicked when they made that adjustment to pressure us full court, and it cost us,” Thomas said. “When we settled down and played our game, we did fine. We just didn’t settle down enough over the course of the second half.
“This was a win that we wanted, but we still have some time to get some momentum going as we head into the tournament.”
The Lady Knights made three of their 16 field goals from behind the arc and also went 13-of-23 at the free throw line for 56 percent. Campbell led PPHS with a game-high 19 points, followed by Michaela Cottrill with eight points.
Morgan Roush and Hannah Smith each chipped in six markers, while Lenea Cochran added four points to the winning cause. Allison Henderson and Ashley Flory respectively rounded things out for Point Pleasant with three and two points.
The Lady Cats made only one of their 10 field goals from three-point range and also went 9-of-27 at the charity stripe for 33 percent. Holley, Clarissa Crank and Maggie Waugh all paced HHS with eight points apiece.
Anna Taylor was next for the guests with four points, while Madison Staggs and Pamela Ochs rounded things out with a point apiece.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.