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No. 2-ranked Pirates survive Pointers’ upset bid

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

WHEELERSBURG — The South Point Pointers kept taking the punches and kept coming. But the knockout punch was gut-wrenching.
The Pointers were down just three points late in Saturday’s game against the No. 2-ranked Wheelersburg Pirates.
But the Pirates were able to convert a technical foul into a four-point play and later capitalized on an intentional foul as they beat the stubborn Pointers 70-58.
“We couldn’t get anything to fall at the end. Our kids played well. The game was closer than the final score. We had it to three and couldn’t make a play,” said Pointers’ coach Travis Wise.
South Point (7-9) had three players in double figures led by Chance Gunther with 19. Brody Blackwell hit four 3-pointers and scored 14 points while Austin Webb had 13.
The Pirates (17-0) was paced by Tanner Holden with a game-high 31 points including 12-of-15 at the foul line. Connor Mullins added 11.
Wheelersburg led 20-11 after the first quarter as Holden scored 10 points and Mullins and Matt Miller each hit 3-pointers. Roger Staggs had four points and Nakyan Turner hit a trey for the Pointers.
South Point got within 34-27 at the half as Gunther hit a 3-pointer and scored seven points and Blackwell drained a pair of trifectas. Holden and Trent Salyers combined for 11 points in the Pirates.
Miller scored four points and Mullins hit a 3-pointer as the Pirates went up 46-38 after three quarters. Webb had six points and Turner hit another triple.
Gunther scored eight points and Blackwell buried a pair of 3-pointers as he scored eight points in a South Point rally.
But the Pirates were 12-of-14 from the line in the fourth quarter with Holden making 7 –of-8. They converted 19-of-23 free throws for the game.
South Point visits Fairland on Tuesday.
South Point 11 16 11 20 = 58
Wheelersburg 20 14 12 24 = 70
SOUTH POINT (7-9): Chance Gunther 5 1 6-8 19, Nakyan Turner 0 2 0-0 6, Garrett Carmon 0 0 0-0 0, Roger Staggs 2 0 2-2 6, Austin Webb 4 0 5-6 13, Kyle Badgett 0 0 0-0 0, Brody Blackwell 1 4 0-0 14, Marcus Malone 0 0 0-0 0, Mason Kazee 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 12 7 13-16 58. Fouls: 23. Fouled out: Turner, Staggs, Malone.
WHEELERSBURG (17-0): Trent Salyers 2 1 2-2 9, Dustin Darnell 0 0 0-0 0, Connor Mullins 1 2 3-4 11, Matt Miller 3 1 0-0 9, Justin Salyers 1 0 0-0 2, Carter McCorkle 0 0 0-0 0, J.J. Truitt 3 0 2-2 8, Tanner Holden 8 1 12-15 31. Totals: 18 5 19-23 70. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: Miller.