MERCERVILLE, Ohio — The Rebels claimed the first quarter by one point. The rest of the night, however, belonged to the Wildcats.
The South Gallia boys basketball team led 14-13 eight minutes into play, but Waterford took the lead in the opening minute of the second quarter and never trailed again, en route to a 62-41 Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division victory, on Friday in Gallia County.
Waterford (2-1, 2-0 TVC Hocking) led for the majority of the first quarter, but the Rebels (0-5, 0-3) took their first and only lead, at 14-13, with a Caleb Henry two-pointer, with 26 seconds left in the period.
SGHS went scoreless for the first 3:30 of the second period, as the Wildcats took a 19-14 lead. SGHS broke the cold spell with a 6-1 run that tied the game at 20, with 3:12 left in the first half. However, WHS ended the second quarter with a 13-to-4 run, and the Wildcats led 33-24 at the break.
The Rebels claimed the opening two points of the third period, but went scoreless for over 4:30, as WHS built its lead to 42-26. SGHS ended the third period with a 4-2 run, and the Red and Gold headed into the finale, trailing 44-30.
Waterford outscored South Gallia 18-to-11 over the final eight minutes, and the Wildcats claimed a 62-41 victory.
For the game, Waterford held a 37-to-32 rebounding advantage, including a 21-to-11 edge on the offensive glass. WHS also claimed a 14-to-10 edge in assists, a 17-to-8 advantage in steals and an 8-to-1 advantage in blocked shots. The Wildcats won the turnover battle by a 16-to-22 clip.
South Gallia shot 7-of-18 (38.9 percent) from the free throw line and 15-of-48 (31.3 percent) from the field, including 4-of-17 (23.5 percent) from three-point range. Meanwhile, WHS was 17-of-29 (58.6 percent) from the stripe and 20-of-54 (37 percent) from the field, including 5-of-11 (45.5 percent) from deep.
SGHS sophomore Caleb Henry led the Rebels on both offense and defense, posting 17 points, seven assists and four steals. Eli Ellis scored nine points and had the lone SGHS block, Josh Henry added five points and seven rebounds, while Lucas Chung and Colton Bowers both scored three points. Austin Stapleton and Curtis Haner rounded out the SGHS offense with two points each, while Haner pulled in a team-best eight rebounds.
Jordan Welch led the victors with 19 points, 11 rebounds, five steals and three blocked shots, while Travis Pottmeyer added 13 points and six boards. Bryce Hilverding scored seven points for WHS, Tyler McCutcheon, Cody Harris and Andrew Theiman each added five points, with Harris and McCutcheon tying for a team-best with four assists apiece.
The WHS offense was rounded out by Riley Burns, Isaac Huffman and Dylan Shriver, scoring four points, three points and one point respectively.
The Rebels and Wildcats will face off again on January 27, in Washington County.
SGHS returns to action on Tuesday, when the Rebels visit Southern.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.