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Pointers survive Hornets upset bid

Chance Short
chance.short@irontontribune.com

COAL GROVE — A late fourth quarter push by the South Point Pointers led them to prevail over the Coal Grove Hornets 35-33 on Friday night in a game that exchanged leads five times under four minutes to play.
After trailing by one point after every quarter in the Ohio Valley Conference game, South Point stole a lead in the fourth quarter when Mason Kazee — who had yet to score in the ball game — knocked down a 3-pointer off a long offensive rebound to put the Pointers up two, 28-26.
Kazee scored 10 points in the game coming all in the fourth quarter.
“Mason Kazee got hot there and we got a couple good sets for him,” said South Point coach Travis Wise.
Malachi Wheeler would answer that 3-pointer with one of his own from the corner on a good extra pass from Trevor Hankins to regain the advantage 29-28 with 3:54 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The lead would exchange two more times before Austin Webb would put a layup in for South Point to gain a lead that would not be relinquished. Kazee shot 3-for-4 at the free throw line to settle the score 35-33.
“I think at first we didn’t play and then we had to lock up the second half. These seniors have been good friends for a long time and they are just finding a way to win. We may have played bad a couple times this year, but these guys are learning what it takes to play in close games down the stretch,” added Wise.
The Hornets (6-6, 4-4) seemingly had control most of the game however, but had a chance to win it down the stretch and missed their final attempt.
Wheeler played a strong game and finished with a game high 13 points and grabbed 3 rebounds, while dishing out 2 assists. Jarren Hicks added 8 points and 6 rebounds.
Nakyan Turner led South Point with 10 points and played aggressive defense for 4 steals as well.
Saturday, South Point (12-3, 9-1) host Fairland needing a win to tie for the OVC lead while Coal Grove hosts Gallipolis.
South Point 10 6 6 11 = 33
Coal Grove 9 6 6 14 = 35
SOUTH POINT (12-3, 9-1): Jake Adams 0-0 1-2 2-2 4, Nakyan Turner 0-2 5-9 0-3 10, Mason Kazee 2-5 0-2 4-6 10, Darryl Taylor 0-0 0-2 2-4 2, Austin Webb 0-4 4-10 1-4 9. Totals: 2-13 10-25 9-19 35. Rebounds: 21 (Darryl Taylor 9). Assists: 6 (Kazee 3). Turnovers: 6. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: none.
COAL GROVE (5-6, 4-4): Malachi Wheeler 2-5 3-8 1-2 13, Jarren Hicks 0-0 4-9 0-3 8, Trevor Hankins 0-1 0-2 0-2 0, Tait Matney 1-4 1-2 1-2 6, Braxton Horn 1-2 0-1 3-4 6. Totals: 4-13 8-26 5-13 33. Rebounds: 33 (Perry Kingery 9). Assists: 9 (Trevor Hankins 4). Turnovers: 15. Fouls: 13.