MERCERVILLE, Ohio — Streak snapped.
The South Gallia boys basketball team defeating Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division foe Wahama 57-49 Tuesday night in Gallia County to end the Rebels three game skid.
SGHS (2-3, 1-2 TVC Hocking) out scored the White Falcons (0-1, 0-1) 14-to-13 in tightly contested opening stanza. The teams battled evenly through the majority of the second period but the Rebels sank a three pointer as time expired to extend their lead to 24-20 at halftime.
South Gallia began the second half with an 8-4 run sparked by a technical foul accessed to Wahama’s Hunter Bradley. At the 4:06 mark of the third period Trenton Gibbs drained a three pointer to stymie the SGHS run and set the White Falcons back on course. WHS cut the lead back to 33-31 headed into the finale.
The lead changed hands several times in the fourth period until SGHS sophomore Brayden Greer hit a pair of free throws to put South Gallia up 44-43 with 2:48 remaining in regulation. The Rebels went on a 13-6 run to close regulation and seal their first league victory of the year.
“It feels good, the kids really worked hard on their day off,” South Gallia coach Larry Howell said after the game. “At halftime we talked about them finishing this game where we didn’t finish the other night and that’s going to kinda be our motto for the season. They did a really good job against a tough Wahama team.”
The Rebels were led by Greer with 28 points followed by Kody Lambart with 11. Ethan Swain finished with nine points, Landon Hutchinson notched six, CJ Johnston had two and Gus Slone rounded out the SGHS total with one point.
The White Falcon offense was led by Bradley with 19 points and Gibbs with 13. Dakota Sisk had seven points, Austin Jordan had five, Derek Hysell and Jacob Ortiz each finished with two points and Preston Hudnall finished with one point for WHS.
“Well we’re a real athletic team and we’re gonna be good after we get a chance to get on the floor a little more,” Wahama coach Mike Wolfe said post game. “Obviously coming out of the football state championship I could make an excuse but we won’t use that. We’ve only had seven days practicing together so hopefully we’ll go back to the drawing board tomorrow and see what we can do.”
The Rebels rebounding was led by Hutchinson with eight and Michael Wheeler with seven. Wheeler and Lambart each had three steals for the victors while Greer finished with a team-high four assists. Greer stepped up when it mattered most sinking 8-of-9 free throw attempts in the fourth period.
“I talked to Brayden the other day and I told him he kinda struggled down the stretch against Southern,” said Howell. “I just dropped him a little and told him that we’re only going to win games if you play strong down the stretch and he took the challenge and tonight he finished the game for us.”
Bradley led the White Falcons with a game-high in rebounds with 18 and a game-high in assists with five. Gibbs finished with 13 rebounds and a game-high four blocks.
Wahama hit five three-pointers on the night, Bradley had three, while Gibbs and Jordan each had one. SGHS hit four shots from beyond the arc, Lambart with two, Greer and Swain with one each.
Wahama held a 43-to-31 advantage on the glass, while SGHS held a 21-to-20 turnover advantage. The Rebels were 21-of-33 (63.6 percent) from the charity strip in the game but improved that number greatly in the fourth quarter going 12-of-16 for 75 percent. The White Falcons went 14-of-24 from the line on the night for 58.3 percent.
“Shots weren’t falling,” said Wolfe. “That happens sometimes early in the season and when they’re not you’ve gotta eliminate mistakes and we defiantly had too many mistakes, too many turnovers and too many missed layups. I can’t fault anybody on the team for not playing hard or for their effort.”
Wahama will have its shot at revenge on January 15th with the Rebels travel to Mason.