POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — The paying crowd got its money’s worth.
The Point Pleasant boys basketball team overcame the visiting River Valley Raiders in a 70-68 overtime thriller on Tuesday night in Mason County.
The Big Blacks (1-4) and the Raiders (2-9) traded the lead in the first 32 minutes of the contest, but the home team took the game on late overtime free throws.
Parker Rairden gave Point Pleasant the early lead off a three-pointer at the 7:31 mark in the first quarter. After Kirk Morrow gave River Valley its first points of the game, Rairden connected with another three at the 6:52 mark.
Tyler Twyman got the Raider offense back on track with a three-point play with a little over four minutes left in the quarter. Two free throws from Jacob Dovenbarger kicked off a 7-0 run for the Silver and Black to give the visitors a two-point edge. Douglas Workman sunk a three with 39 seconds left in the period, but the visitors had a 17-16 edge after one quarter.
The Point Pleasant offense controlled much of the second quarter. Rairden’s three points kicked off a 10-2 run for the Big Blacks with 6:18 left in the first half. Twyman knocked back-to-back threes to keep the Silver and Black in the game. River Valley ended the second quarter on a 5-0 run, capped off by a three from Twyman with six seconds left. The home squad took a 36-35 lead into the break.
Morrow and Twyman’s consecutive baskets gave River Valley the lead in the first minute of the third quarter. Both squads traded the lead throughout the period, until Cason Payne started a 9-0 run for the Big Blacks. The home squad ended the third quarter on a 7-2 run, capped off by a buzz-beater three from Trey Tucker. PPHS took a 58-49 into the finale.
The Raiders offense started the fourth quarter 8-2 run, led by four points from Morrow. The River Valley defense stepped up in the period, only allowing eight points from the Big Blacks. Will Harbour gave Point Pleasant a two-point lead heading into the finale minute of regulation. Morrow was fouled with 57 seconds left and tied the contest at 66-all to send the contest into overtime.
Trey Tucker was fouled 20 seconds into the overtime period and connected on a free throw to give Point Pleasant a one-point lead. Morrow drove the ball into the paint and netted a bucket to give the Raiders the edge with 2:38 left in overtime. Rairden was fouled with 2:16 left and connected from the charity stripe to tie the contest at 68-all. With one second on the clock, Tucker was fouled again and made both free throws to end the contest.
The Big Blacks finished the game shooting 14-of-49 field goals (29 percent), while the Raiders shot 14-of-41 from the field (34 percent). Point Pleasant shot 8-of-14 from the free throw line and River Valley shot 11-of-23 from the stripe. Both teams finished with six turnovers, but River Valley had a 32-31 edge in rebounds.
“River Valley’s record doesn’t indicate what they are,” Point Pleasant coach Josh Williams said. “We knew, watching them on film and watching them in person, that they were going to present matchup problems for us. We knew coming in we would be in a dogfight. We’ve been shooting the ball pretty good all year. Defensively, I thought the kids really stepped up and played better. We can still get better, but they made a big step up tonight.”
Workman paced the Big Blacks with a game-high 23 points. Rairden followed with 13 points, while Payne finished with 11 points. Trey Tucker had 10 points, followed by Harbour with eight points. Bradley Gibbs and Trenton Tucker contributed three points and two points respectively for Point Pleasant.
“Hats off to Point. They played a great game,” River Valley coach Jeremy Peck said. “They knocked down some early shots and we tightened up our defense in the second half. It was a big night. Tyler returned and played a great game and we’re getting back in the flow with him in the lineup. I see good things coming with my players back healthy. The heart and effort was there and it was an honor to coach against my cousin, Josh.”
Morrow led the Raiders with 20 points, followed by Twyman with 19 points. Dovenbarger finished with 13 points, while Jarrett McCarley had seven points. Mark Wray had five points, while Dustin Barber and Dayton Hardway contributed three points and two points respectively for River Valley.
With the win, PPHS snapped a four-game losing streak, while River Valley takes its first loss since the Raiders’ 56-46 win over Ohio Valley Christian on Saturday.
Point Pleasant will travel to Ripley on Wednesday, while River Valley will host Southern on Tuesday.
Donald Lambert can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106