MASON, W.Va. — Two birds, one rock.
Senior Emma Gibbs became the ninth girl in school history to reach the 1,000-point plateau, and did so with a game-winning free throw with 19 seconds left Monday night as the Wahama girls basketball team survived three overtimes to claim a 72-71 victory over visiting Ravenswood in a Little Kanawha Valley Conference matchup at Gary Clark Court in Mason County.
Both teams battled through 13 ties and 14 lead changes over the course of the 44-minute affair, and each squad owned the lead seven different times — including an advantage of three possessions at least once throughout the contest.
The Lady Falcons (2-1, 2-0 LKC) faced the largest deficit of the night at 27-17 barely a minute into the third quarter, but the hosts made a focused effort to get Gibbs the ball in the paint — and the 5-foot-11 4-year starter helped spark a rally for the ages.
Gibbs — who was limited to six points in the first half — poured in seven points in each of the final two frames of regulation, which sparked a pair of 18-15 runs that turned a 23-17 intermission deficit into a 53-all contest headed into the first overtime.
Even more impressively, Gibbs was able to extend the game into overtime after banking in a 3-pointer from the top right side of the key with just one second left on the clock.
The Red Devilettes (1-2, 1-2) built a 58-55 cushion following an Annie Hunt layup with 1:48 remaining in the first extra session, but a Mikie Lieving trifecta 16 seconds later knotted the game up at 58-all as both squads headed into the second overtime.
RHS never led in the second 4-minute session as the Lady Falcons made a 9-2 surge out of the gates for a 67-60 edge with 1:44 left. The guests, however, received five points from Hunt — including the game-tying basket with 14 seconds left — as part of a 7-0 surge that again left things tied up at 67-all.
An Evelyn Stoneman old-fashioned three and a Hunt free throw allowed Ravenswood to build its largest lead of the third overtime at 71-69 with 2:10 remaining, but a Gibbs bucket knotted things back up with 1:41 left.
After several empty possessions were traded, Gibbs was fouled on her way to the basket with 19 seconds showing on the clock. The senior nailed the first free throw to claim a permanent lead of 72-71, and reached quadruple digits for her career in the process.
After a brief delay to recognize the feat in front of the home crowd, Gibbs went back to the line and missed the second attempt. RHS was ultimately unable to come up with a successful rally and the clock finally hit all zeroes, allowing the Red and White to sneak away with the minimal 1-point triumph.
Gibbs — who joins the likes of Hannah Rose, Sierra Carmichael, Amber Tully, Taylor Hysell, Julia Hoffman, Keith Ann Sayre, Cara Blessing and Lori Zuspan in the WHS 1,000-point club for girls — was thrilled to join such an elusive group of outstanding basketball players.
More importantly, she was glad to accomplish her personal feat with a victory.
“This moment means a lot to me. I’ve not always primarily focused on being a scorer. I’m more of a rebounder and a passer that handles things inside, so it is cool to hit this mark,” Gibbs said. “It’s cool because my teammates have been pushing me and helping me to reach this moment. I think they wanted it for me as much as I did, and that’s something that means a lot to me.
“This would mean a lot to me regardless, but it really helps that it came in a win. It’s really satisfying to know that it came on a game-winner at home, in front of my friends and family. It’s a good night, for sure.”
The record-clinching point put the senior at exactly 28 points on the night, which was what she needed coming in to reach the milestone. Gibbs — who produced 10 of Wahama’s 19 points in overtime — also hauled in a game-high 22 rebounds to go along with four blocked shots.
The Lady Falcons never led in the first quarter and were down 11-10 through eight minutes of play, but the hosts rallied to tie things up at 17-all before RHS made a 6-0 run to close out the half with a 23-17 advantage. The Red Devilettes also led 38-35 headed into the fourth period.
Wahama outrebounded the guests by a sizable 44-26 overall margin, including a 13-10 edge on the offensive glass. WHS committed 15 of their 26 turnovers in the first half, while Ravenswood ended the night with 16 miscues.
The hosts made 22-of-49 field goal attempts for 45 percent, including a 6-of-11 effort from behind the arc for 55 percent. Wahama also sank 22-of-35 free throw attempts for 63 percent.
Lieving followed Gibbs with 14 points, while Torre VanMatre added a double-double effort of 11 points and 10 rebounds. Lauren Noble was next with 10 points and Amber Wolfe contributed six markers. Morgan Christian completed the winning tally with three points.
Ravenswood netted 23-of-66 shot attempts for 35 percent, including a 3-of-14 effort from 3-point territory for 21 percent. The guests also made 22-of-31 charity tosses for 71 percent.
Hunt paced RHS with a game-high 31 points, followed by Haleigh McGoskley with 13 points and Emily Wratchfield with 10 markers. Libby Hall and Stoneman were next with seven and five points, respectively.
Lindsay Carroll and Maci Mosser completed the scoring with three and two points. Carroll hauled in a team-high eight rebounds in the setback.
The third quarter was the only segment of the game in which the lead never changed hands.
Wahama returns to action Wednesday as it travels to Tyler Consolidated for a LKC matchup at 6 p.m.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.