MASON, W.Va. — Back in the win column in a very big way.
The Wahama boys basketball team snapped a 29-game skid on Thursday at Gary Clark Court in Mason County, defeating Wirt County 61-33 in Little Kanawha Conference play.
Wahama (1-3, 1-2 LKC) — which hadn’t won since a 64-38 triumph over Miller on Feb. 8, 2019, in Mason — took the lead 1:22 into Thursday’s game and never trailed again.
The White Falcons were ahead 20-14 at the end of the first quarter, and led by eight points within the first minute of the second.
Wirt County got back to within four points, at 28-24 by halftime, but Wahama scored nine in a row to start the second half. The Tigers claimed four of the next seven markers, but didn’t score again in the period, with the Red and White heading into the finale with an 8-0 run and a 48-28 lead.
WCHS scored three of the first five points in the fourth quarter, but Wahama closed the 61-33 victory with an 11-to-2 run.
For the game, Wahama shot 22-of-53 (41.5 percent) from the field, including 9-of-20 (45 percent) from beyond the arc. After shooting 52.9 percent from the field in the first half, Wirt County was held to 12.1 percent in the second half, making 13-of-50 (26 percent) for the game, including 1-of-14 (7.1 percent) from three-point range.
The White Falcons made 8-of-13 (61.5 percent) foul shots, while the Tigers were 6-for-12 (50 percent) from the line.
Wahama outrebounded the Orange and Black by a 34-to-25 clip, including 13-to-11 on the offensive end. The White Falcons committed 15 turnovers, while Wirt County gave the ball away 17 times. The hosts combined for 15 assists, seven assists and one blocked shot, while WCHS had five assists, five steals and one rejection.
Sawyer VanMatre led Wahama with a double-double of 22 points and 12 rebounds. Josiah Lloyd hit a team-best four three-pointers on his way to 14 points, Ethan Gray sank three triples on his way to 13, and Bryce Zuspan connected on two trifectas on en route to eight points. Michael VanMatre rounded out the WHS scoring with four points, to go with a team-best four assists.
Leading the White Falcon defense, Gray and Zuspan both claimed two steals, with Gray also rejecting a shot.
Nathan Murray led Wirt County with 13 points, 11 of which came before halftime. Connor Hoover was next with 10 points, followed by Slayden Turpin with four. Dylan Toler, Deshawn Middleton and Aiden Cheuvront each finished with two points for the guests.
Toler, Middleton, Donovan Roberts and Dylan Lowe each had four rebounds to lead the guests, while Murray, Lowe and Roberts each claimed two assists.
These teams are scheduled to rematch on April 6 in Wirt County.
Next for Wahama, Tyler Consolidated visits Gary Clark Court on Tuesday.
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Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.