Playing a tight overtime basketball game in a tournament atmosphere, the Piketon Redstreaks did just enough Tuesday evening, securing a 55-54 conquest over the visiting South Point Pointers.

Neither team had more than a four-point lead in the opening half as the battle of defenses began. Piketon was tasked with trying to slow South Point’s senior duo of Nakyan Turner and Austin Webb, a West Liberty University signee. That challenge proved daunting and almost didn’t play out in Piketon’s favor. Turner and Webb combined to score all 26 of their team’s points in the first half.

The two teams traded leads on nearly every shot in the opening quarter, as the Streaks had scoring contributions from Levi Gullion, Chris Chandler, Tra Swayne and Shane Leedy. The Pointers gained their largest lead in the first eight minutes, 11-8, before Leedy hit a pair of free throws to cut it to 11-10.

The Redstreaks moved in front 15-12 and then 18-14 early in the second quarter with big shots from Gullion and Chandler. But Webb had back-to-back buckets to tie it up again. Gullion put the Redstreaks in front twice more before the Pointers regained the lead. South Point looked to close the half on another run, but Piketon’s Shane Leedy took advantage of an open lane to drive and score, cutting the lead to 26-24.

The Pointers appeared to be taking the momentum in the third quarter, building up to a 39-32 advantage by the end. The Streaks delivered the first blow. Gullion was able to get to the line after being fouled on a putback attempt. Brody Fuller followed with a three-pointer on Piketon’s next possession, putting PHS in front 28-26.

South Point only managed three points against the Piketon defense in the first four minutes of that quarter, but the Pointers were doing their best to force the Streaks to take challenging shots, resulting in a string of misses. Midway through the frame, the Pointers led 29-28. Leedy had a drive and bucket to put Piketon in front again, 30-29. Then South Point had a run of seven unanswered points, going up 36-30. Chandler worked to break the drought, driving in and putting up a contested shot, grabbing his own rebound and drawing a foul. Chandler hit both freebies to get the Streaks within four, 36-32. But then South Point’s Jake Adams connected on a three-pointer, opening his team’s largest lead at 39-32.

But the Redstreaks fought back, delivering big play after big play without panic, regaining a two- to three-point advantage by the middle of the fourth quarter. Chandler had the first big play of the quarter, driving on another contested shot and putting his own rebound back up and in while drawing a foul. He swished the free throw, cutting South Point’s lead to four, 36-32. The Pointers increased their lead to six twice more before Piketon rallied for an 8-0 run.

That run began when Swayne started driving toward the basket, but had the ball knocked from his hands by a South Point defender. He was able to regain possession and save the ball from out-of-bounds, flinging it back and into the hands of Gullion, who swished a three-pointer that ignited the home crowd. Chandler added a pair of free throws following a South Point turnover. Then Swayne had another drive, firing the ball out to Chandler for a three-pointer, giving the Streaks a 45-43 lead with 4:29 left in regulation. The Pointers tied it up with just over 3:30 left. Piketon’s final five points came from the line. Swayne had a stretch, hitting 4-of-6 tries, keeping Piketon in front 48-45 and then 49-47. The next two minutes were a battle. Piketon limited South Point to three challenging shots, but couldn’t score after suffering a pair of turnovers. Finally, Leedy was able to hit 1-of-2 from the line, increasing the lead to 50-47.

That lead wasn’t secure, as South Point senior Austin Webb had the triple to send the game to overtime at 50-50. After creating the tie, the Pointers thought they had the game won, when Nakyan Turner made off with a steal and weaved his way through the defense for the go-ahead layup with five seconds left. But the officials ruled the final steps as a travel, sending the game into an extra session.

The overtime session began with missed three-point tries from both teams. Finally, Levi Gullion found a lane to the basket, drawing a foul. He drained both freebies, giving the Redstreaks a lead they never relinquished, although it wasn’t safe until the final buzzer sounded. A South Point turnover led to Tra Swayne having the opportunity to go to the charity stripe. He missed the first freebie, but hit the second, creating a three-point advantage, 53-50. After South Point’s Nakyan Turner was fouled and missed his attempt, Piketon’s Kydan Potts was fouled going for the rebound and had the opportunity to add two more free throws, increasing the lead to 55-50.

That lead didn’t last long, as South Point’s Austin Webb tried to take control. Webb immediately took the ball down the floor and scored, cutting the lead to 55-52. Then he did it again, using a steal and another fast break layup to make the score 55-54 with 1:56 left in the overtime session.

Much like the rest of the game, the final 1:56 was a hotly contested battle between two defensive teams. Webb had a three-point try that bounced off and was collected by Potts on the defensive rebound. The Streaks also had opportunities to increase the lead on the foul line in the final minute, but couldn’t get any shots to fall. The final Pointer shot attempt bounced off and Piketon senior Shane Leedy collected it on a defensive rebound with 1.4 seconds to go, getting fouled. Although he couldn’t get either free throw to go, the Pointers didn’t have enough time to answer, allowing Piketon to take the 55-54 win.

“South Point is incredible. Anytime you can sharpen yourself against a team that is going to push you the way they did tonight is a great opportunity,” said Piketon coach Kyle Miller. “I think both teams can take positives away from this. It is one of those games where it is unfortunate that one team had to lose and one team had to win.”

Webb finished with 23 points for South Point, while Turner provided 20. Miller, a defensive-minded coach, has his players work to keep the other team’s best players under wraps.

“I don’t know the last time we’ve let this happen. That just shows how good they are,” said Miller, talking about the scoring of Turner and Webb.

“Our guys wanted to stay in our ‘Sizzle’ defense. I was worried about leaving some holes, an open jumper or rebounding out of it. But our guys battled enough for us to come away on top.”

Statistically, Gullion was the leading scorer with 18 points and he also provided seven rebounds. Chandler produced 15 points, along with six rebound and a blocked shot. Swayne had 10 points, four rebounds and four assists.

Miller gave props to all of his guys, but had positive words for two juniors — Gullion and Swayne.

“I had met with Levi and Tra, talking about as we finish the home stretch and prepare for the tournament. The meeting with Levi was about his trends over the last few games. We talked about that maybe he was trending the wrong direction — what a way for him to step up tonight with 18 points and battling on the bottom of our 1-3-1 zone,” said Miller.

“I met with Tra about being more aggressive. Tonight he was much more aggressive with the basketball in his hands. We trust those guys. We might trust them too much at times. But we trust them to make the decisions of when to attack with the basketball. Tonight was a positive step in the right direction as we gear up to the final stretch of the season and the tournament.”

Miller was thrilled with all of the contributions each player gave, saying, “We had positive contributions from the entire roster, even our guys on the bench, who were engaged.”

In the game, Piketon had just 13 turnovers, while South Point had 10.

Shooting-wise, Piketon was 9-of-23 (39.1 percent) from two-point range, 5-of-18 from outside (27.8 percent) and 22-of-33 on the line (67.7 percent). The Pointers went 18-of-32 (56.3 percent) from two-point range, 4-of-20 from three-point land (20 percent) and 6-of-11 from the foul line (54.5 percent.

With the win, Piketon improved to 15-5 overall and stands at 8-4 in the Scioto Valley Conference.

SPHS — 11 15 13 11 4 — 54

PHS — 10 14 8 18 5 — 55

SOUTH POINT (54) — Jake Adams 1 1 0-0 5, Nakyan Turner 5 2 4-7 20, Mason Kazee 1 0 0-0 2, Darryl Turner 1 0 2-4 4, Austin Webb 10 1 0-0 23, Erikai Jackson 0 0 0-0 0, Malik Pegram 0 0 0-0 0, Xander Dornon 0 0 0-0 0, TOTALS 18 4 6-10 54.

PIKETON (55) — Levi Gullion 3 2 6-8 18, Brody Fuller 0 1 0-0 3, Tra Swayne 2 0 6-10 10, Kydan Potts 0 0 2-4 2, Chris Chandler 2 2 5-5 15, Shane Leedy 2 0 3-6 7, Sawyer Pendleton 0 0 0-0 0, TOTALS 9 5 22-33 55.

Saturday, Feb. 6 @ ZT

Holding the lead at every stop, the Piketon Redstreaks escaped Zane Trace with a 57-52 triumph.

Piketon was able to build a lead in the first half, match the Pioneers in the third quarter, and survive a surge at the end to leave Ross County victorious.

Kydan Potts led the scoring charge for the Redstreaks in the opening quarter, generating seven of the 15. Brody Fuller added a three-pointer, Levi Gullion had a three-point play, and Chandler provided a bucket. At the end of one, Piketon was up 15-9.

The Streaks limited the Pioneers to nine points once again in the second quarter. Chandler produced six of Piketon’s 12 offensively, while Leedy hit a three-pointer and Potts had a bucket and a foul shot. At the break, Piketon was up 27-18.

The third quarter saw both teams pour in the points, as each tallied 19. Chandler scored 10 for the Streaks, having three buckets and four foul shots. Potts connected on two more three-pointers, and Fuller added one. Going to the fourth quarter, Piketon was up 46-37.

Piketon was able to hang on for the victory, hitting enough shots and free throws to stay ahead in the final quarter. Although the Streaks hit just 3-of-7 from the line as a team, Chandler, Leedy and Gullion all had buckets to keep the offense going and secure the win, 57-52.

For the Streaks, Chandler finished with 23 points, followed by Potts with 16 and Fuller with seven.

Zane Trace was led by Nalin Robinson with 19 points, followed by Kyle Stonerock with 18 points and Ben Nichols with 10 points.

PHS — 15 12 19 11 — 57

ZTHS — 9 9 19 15 — 52

PIKETON (57) — Levi Gullion 2 0 1-2 5, Shane Leedy 1 1 0-0 5, Brody Fuller 0 2 1-1 7, Tra Swayne 0 0 1-2 1, Sawyer Pendleton 0 0 0-0 0, Kydan Potts 3 3 1-3 16, Chris Chandler 9 0 5-7 23, TOTALS 15 6 9-15 57.

ZANE TRACE (52) — Trey Miller 0 0 0-0 0, Brayden Jarrell 0 0 0-0 0, Ben Nichols 4 0 2-2 10, Austen Ison 1 0 0-0 2, Xzander Ream 0 1 0-0 3, Nalin Robinson 6 1 4-5 19, Kyle Stonerock 9 0 0-1 18, TOTALS 20 2 6-8 52.

Feb. 5 vs. PV

Much like the first meeting between the Piketon Redstreaks and the Paint Valley Bearcats, it was a close first half.

And just like the first meeting, the Redstreaks extended their lead in the third quarter before finishing strong in the fourth, recording a 58-37 win.

Piketon senior Brody Fuller had a strong start, producing 10 of Piketon’s 15 points in the opening quarter, while Chris Chandler added five more. Defensively, the Streaks limited the Bearcats to eight points.

Paint Valley rallied for 18 points in the second quarter, and limited Piketon to 14, cutting the lead down to three at the half 29-26. Chandler scored seven to lead the charge for Piketon, while Levi Gullion added five and Sawyer Pendleton contributed a basket.

Coming out of the break, both teams had their lowest scoring output. However, the Streaks doubled the production of the Bearcats 10-5. Fuller had a pair of three-pointers, while Chandler and Shane Leedy each had a basket. Going to the fourth quarter, Piketon was ahead 39-31.

The Redstreaks put the win away in the fourth quarter, combining for 19 points. Kydan Potts led the charge this time, producing seven points. Tra Swayne and Chandler each added five, while Leedy had an additional basket to complete the 58-37 win.

Chandler finished with 19 points to lead the Redstreaks, followed by Fuller with 16 and Potts with seven.

For Paint Valley, Cordell Grubb led with 15 points, followed by Dax Estep with eight and Connor Free with six.

PVHS — 8 18 5 6 — 37

PHS — 15 14 10 19 — 58

PAINT VALLEY (37) — Cordell Grubb 4 1 1-1 15, Trent Mettler 0 0 1-6 1, Traeden Jeffers 1 1 0-0 5, Cole Miller 0 0 0-2 0, Blaine Parker 0 0 0-0 0, Dax Estep 2 1 1-2 8, Adam Brauner 0 0 0-0 0, Connor Free 2 0 2-4 6, Brock Blanton 1 0 0-0 2, TOTALS 10 3 5-15 37.

PIKETON (58) — Levi Gullion 1 1 0-0 5, Shane Leedy 2 0 0-0 4, Brody Fuller 1 4 2-2 16, Tra Swayne 1 1 0-0 5, Sawyer Pendleton 1 0 0-0 2, Brady Coreno 0 0 0-0 0, Owen Armstrong 0 0 0-0 0, Kydan Potts 2 1 0-0 7, Chris Chandler 5 2 1-1 19, Braiden Dunham 0 0 0-0 0, Jayden Thacker 0 0 0-0 0, TOTALS 14 8 3-3 58.

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Email at jbillings@newswatchman.com; follow on Twitter @ Julie_Billings

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