BELPRE, Ohio — The bigger the hole, the farther the climb.
The Wahama boys basketball team rallied back from a 13-point second half deficit to force overtime, but host Belpre ultimately had too much for the White Falcons in the extra session and claimed a 56-53 decision Tuesday night in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division matchup in Washington County.
The White Falcons (9-9, 8-6 TVC Hocking) trailed 12-6 after eight minutes and entered the intermission facing a 28-17 deficit, but the guests countered with a 31-20 surge over the next 16 minutes to knot things up at 48-all at the end of regulation.
WHS went on a 4-2 run over the opening minute-plus of the extra session, giving the guests their only OT lead at 52-50 with 2:49 remaining.
The host Golden Eagles reeled off four straight points over the next 45 seconds to recapture the lead at 54-52, then used a small 2-1 edge at the free throw line over the final two minutes to wrap up the one-possession outcome.
Belpre (12-4, 11-1) won its fourth straight decision overall and seventh consecutive TVC Hocking contest, while the White Falcons had their two-game winning streak snapped. BHS also claimed a season sweep after posting a 73-60 win at Wahama back on Jan. 10, which started the Eagles’ current winning streak in the league.
WHS was down as much as 40-27 with 2:06 left in the third quarter, but the guests ended the period on a 6-0 run to pull within 40-33 headed into the finale. Wahama followed with a 9-0 charge to start the fourth, claiming its first lead of the night at 42-40 with 4:57 left in regulation.
The hosts answered with a 7-0 surge for a five-point cushion, but the White Falcons retaliated with a 6-0 spurt to take a 48-47 edge with just over a minute left in OT. Belpre’s Dakota Hoffman tied the game at 48 with a free throw with 31 seconds left.
Senior Isaac Lee led Wahama with a game-high 32 points, which included the guests’ first 16 points of the contest. Lee also got off a potential game-tying trifecta near the end of OT, but the shot missed its mark.
Austin Jordan was next with nine points, followed by Hunter Oliver with six markers. Wyatt Zuspan and Jacob Ortiz rounded out the WHS scoring with three points apiece. The guests were 9-of-15 at the free throw line for 60 percent.
Hoffman paced Belpre with 13 points, followed by Jake Ullman with 12 points and Bryce Pittenger with 10 markers. BHS was 5-of-6 at the charity stripe for 83 percent.
Wahama hosts Huntington Saint Joseph in a non-conference matchup Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m.
Belpre 56, Wahama 53 (OT)
W 6-11-16-15-5 — 53
B 12-16-12-8-8 — 56
WAHAMA (9-9, 8-6 TVC Hocking): Isaac Lee 13 6-10 32, Wyatt Zuspan 1 0-0 3, Tyler Roush 0 0-1 0, Austin Jordan 3 2-2 9, Hunter Oliver 3 0-0 6, Jacob Ortiz 1 1-2 3, D.J. Gibbs 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 21 9-15 5. Three-point goals: 2 (Zuspan, Jordan).
BELPRE (12-4, 11-1 TVC Hocking): Drew Nestor 4 0-0 9, Dakota Hoffman 5 1-2 13, Jake Ullman 4 2-2 12, Bryce Pittenger 5 0-0 10, Ryan Leasure 2 2-2 6, Joey Byers 0 0-0 0, Mick Therriault 3 0-0 6. TOTALS: 23 5-6 56. Three-point goals: 5 (Hoffman 2, Ullman 2, Nestor).