ELIZABETH, W.Va. — These Tigers finally earned their stripes.
Host Wirt County led wire-to-wire while picking up its first victory of the season Thursday night following a 60-55 decision over the Wahama boys basketball team in a non-conference matchup in Wirt County.
The visiting White Falcons (7-8) fell behind 19-13 after eight minutes of play and were ultimately never able to catch up as the Tigers (1-16) made that early two-possession lead hold up over the next three quarters of play.
Both teams traded 11 points apiece during the second canto, which allowed WCHS to secure a 30-24 cushion at the break. The hosts followed with a small 16-15 third quarter spurt that resulted in a 46-39 edge headed into the finale.
The Red and White managed to cut the deficit down to two points midway through the fourth, but the Tigers — despite being outscored 16-14 down the stretch — were able to hold on for the five-point decision.
Wahama netted 16-of-39 field goal attempts for 41 percent, including an 8-of-18 effort from three-point range for 44 percent. The guests were also 15-of-20 at the free throw line for 75 percent.
Travis Kearns paced WHS with 14 points, followed by Mason Hildreth with 12 points and Philip Hoffman with 11 markers. Randy Lantz was next with eight points, while Noah Litchfield and Jacob Lloyd respectively rounded out the scoring with seven points and three points.
The Tigers connected on 18-of-40 shot attempts for 45 percent, including a 6-of-14 effort from behind the arc for 42 percent. The hosts also went 18-of-27 at the charity stripe for 67 percent. The hosts were also 10-of-18 from the line in the fourth quarter alone.
T.J. Conley led Wirt County with a game-high 18 points, followed by Drew Adams with 14 points and Hunter Hickman with 11 markers.
Blake Batten was next with eight points, while Josh Ellison and Trenton Burdette respectively rounded out the winning tally with efforts of six and three markers.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.