POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — For the last two weeks, Point Pleasant boys basketball coach Josh Williams stressed the importance of putting four quarters of basketball together.
Friday night against visiting Gallia Academy, the second-year mentor had his wish come true.
The host Big Blacks committed just 10 turnovers, shot 51 percent from the field and had eight different players reach the scoring column en route to an 80-51 victory over the Blue Devils in a non-conference matchup in Mason County.
Point Pleasant (7-6) trailed 3-2 in the opening minute of play, but the hosts rallied with a 15-7 spurt to secure a 17-10 advantage after one quarter of play. GAHS (8-8) was never closer than five points the rest of the way, as the guests closed the gap down to 20-15 with 3:57 remaining in the half.
Point answered with a furious 13-1 charge over the final 3:46 of the second canto, which allowed the hosts to turn a tightly-contested two-possession game into a comfortable 33-16 cushion at the break.
Both teams attempted 23 shots in the first half, with PPHS netting 10 while the guests made only six. The Big Blacks outrebounded GAHS by a sizable 21-11 margin — including a 5-3 edge on the offensive glass — and committed seven turnovers during that span, compared to eight giveaways by the Blue Devils.
Point Pleasant extended its third quarter lead out to as much as 45-20 following a Wade Martin basket at the 5:10 mark, but Gallia Academy battled back with a 15-8 surge over the final 4:51 to pull within 53-35 headed into the finale.
GAHS went scoreless for three minutes in the finale, and Alex Somerville capped a 6-0 run by Point Pleasant with a free throw at the 5:10 mark for a 59-35 edge. Jacob Strieter ended the Devils’ scoreless drought with a basket at the 4:58 mark to make it a 22-point deficit, but the guests never came closer.
Cody Sroufe made a layup with 1:16 left in regulation to give the hosts their largest lead of the contest at 80-47. Gallia Academy scored the final four points of the game to wrap up the 29-point outcome.
The Big Blacks claimed a season sweep of Gallia Academy after posting a 64-39 victory back on December 13 in Centenary. Point Pleasant has now won four straight against the Blue Devils in boys basketball.
PPHS sank 28-of-55 field goal attempts overall, which included a 7-of-19 effort from three-point range for 37 percent. The hosts won the battle on the boards by a 38-31 margin, but the guests claimed a 14-12 edge on the offensive glass.
Wade Martin led the hosts with a game-high 22 points, followed by Alex Somerville with 20 points and Aden Yates with 13 markers. Yates posted a double-double with 16 rebounds, while Somerville hit five of Point’s seven trifectas.
Evan Potter was next with eight points, while Brian Gibbs contributed seven markers to the winning cause. Cody Sroufe and Nick Templeton each added four points, while Garrett Norris rounded out the winning tally with two markers.
The Big Blacks were 17-of-23 at the free throw line for 74 percent, while the guests netted 6-of-14 charity tosses for 43 percent. Gallia Academy also committed 15 turnovers in the setback.
Jacob Strieter paced the Blue Devils with 16 points, followed by Alex White with 11 markers. Wade Jarrell and Seth Atkins were next with eight points apiece, while Reid Eastman contributed five markers in the setback.
Michael Putney and Wes Jarrell rounded out the respective scoring with two points and one marker.