HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Close … but no proverbial cigar.
The Point Pleasant boys basketball team put together a solid game, but the Big Blacks still dropped their eighth consecutive decision Saturday afternoon following a 63-59 outcome during the 2016 Huntington Invitational held at Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Cabell County.
The Big Blacks (2-12) found a decent offensive rhythm throughout the course of 32 minutes as the Red, Black and White scored at least 14 points in each of the four quarters of regulation. The Panthers (9-4), however, made a pair of late runs in each half, which ultimately thwarted any hopes of ending Point’s losing skid.
Both teams found themselves deadlocked at 14-all after eight minutes of play, but Jake Ashley scored seven points during a 22-15 LCHS run in the second canto — which gave the Panthers a 36-29 cushion at the break.
Cason Payne and Trey Tucker each scored six points as part of a 15-10 third quarter run, which allowed Point Pleasant to whittle its lead down to 46-44 headed into the finale. LCHS netted 4-of-8 free throws down the stretch as part of a small 17-15 run that ultimately wrapped up the four-point outcome.
Payne led PPHS with a game-high 19 points, followed by Douglas Workman with 14 points. Tucker and Parker Rairden were next with eight markers each, while Bradley Gibbs contributed seven points.
Matthew Martin and Brad Linger rounded out the scoring with two points and one point, respectively. Point made eight of its 21 field goals from behind the arc and also went 9-of-19 at the free throw line for 47 percent.
Shane Wells paced the Panthers with 16 points, followed by Ashley with 13 points and Brandon Holley with 10 markers. Jacob Kirkendall was next with eight points, while Nate Spencer and Tanner Wells respectively chipped in five and four markers.
Cory Rust and Kyle Wright were next with three points apiece, and Caleb Rust rounded out the winning tally with one point. LCHS made two of its 23 field goals from three-point range and also went 15-of-28 at the charity stripe for 54 percent.
Lincoln County posted a 65-50 victory over Point Pleasant at LCHS back on January 15. The two teams will meet again in Point Pleasant on February 23.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.