SISSONVILLE, W.Va. — Just like that, your postseason dreams can come to a screeching halt.
The Point Pleasant girls basketball team had its 2016-17 campaign come to a close on Monday night in Kanawha County, as host Sissonville claimed a 69-29 victory in the Class AA, Region IV, Section 1 tournament.
Sissonville (17-6) scored the game’s first four points, but Point Pleasant (3-20) fought back to tie the game at four, with 4:49 remaining in the opening quarter. As part of an 8-0 run, the Lady Indians reestablished the lead with 4:20 left in the period and never trailed again.
The Lady Knights cut their deficit to six points, at 14-8, by the end of the first quarter, but they were never that close again.
The hosts held Point Pleasant to just one point in the second stanza, as the Sissonville lead grew to 32-9 by halftime.
The Lady Knights outscored SHS by an 8-to-7 clip over the first 4:30 of the second half, but the guests were scoreless for the remainder of the third quarter, as Sissonville pushed its lead to 53-17.
Sissonville pushed its lead to a game-high 43 points, at 69-26, with 30 seconds to play, but Point Pleasant claimed the final three points to cap off the Lady Indians’ 69-29 triumph.
“We usually play some good defense, but we turned the ball over and then fouled people,” fifth-year PPHS head coach John Fields said. “We gave up 14 points from the line in the first half and we were down 23. We’re down nine if we don’t give those up and it’s still a game. Quite frankly, that kills the girls’ attitudes. We did what we could with what we had, I’m proud of them. We just have to start getting ready for next year, and look for bigger and better things.”
For the game, the Lady Indians held a 48-to-32 rebounding advantage, including a 20-to-11 edge in offensive boards. Point Pleasant turned the ball over 34 times in the game, while SHS gave the ball away 20 times. The Lady Indians also held advantages in assists (17-to-6), steals (17-to-7) and blocked shots (13-to-1).
PPHS sophomore Allison Henderson led the Lady Knights with 11 points, followed by Isabelle Wagelmans with eight. Aislyn Hayman was next with five points, followed by Morgan Miller with three and Hannah Smith with two.
Hayman pulled in a team-best 12 rebounds, while Wagelmans added six boards. Miller and Morgan Roush both dished out two assists in the setback. Smith led the PPHS defense with two steals, while Kelly Marr had one steal and the team’s lone rejection.
SHS junior Brooklyn Campbell led the way for the victors with 16 points, followed by Olivia Montgomery with 15 and Mikayla Long with 14. Ashleigh McGhee poured in seven points for the hosts, Laila Arthur added six, while Morgan Jennings chipped in with three points. Lindsey Ullman, Alexis Bailey, Alexis Hudson and Honesty Bragg each contributed two points to the winning cause.
McGhee — a 6-foot-2-inch junior — marked game-highs of 16 rebounds and six blocked shots for Sissonville. Arthur dished out a game-best six assists, Campbell came up with a game-best six steals, while Montgomery pulled in nine boards and assisted on four baskets for the victors.
The Lady Indians also defeated the Lady Knights in two regular season meetings, winning by an 84-20 count at SHS on December 28, and by a 72-25 margin at PPHS on January 7.
This marks the final game in the Red, Black and White for PPHS seniors Aislyn Hayman, Morgan Roush, Ashlie Flory, Isabelle Wagelmans and Grace Sprouse, as well as Luiza Da Costa and Michaela Cottrill, who were both unable to play on Monday.
“Three of them have been here since sixth grade and I love to see them get this last chance to work hard,” Coach Fields said. “The other four came in late and helped us out. We’re really going to miss all of them. The ones who got to play, I’m glad they got to play, they played their hearts out and everybody here saw that.”
Sissonville’s postseason continues on Wednesday evening, when Poca hosts the Lady Indians.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.