MERCERVILLE, Ohio — It was a couple of days late, but the Rebels got just what they wanted for Christmas.
The South Gallia boys basketball team picked up its first win of the season on Tuesday night, as the Rebels rolled to a 70-50 victory over non-conference guest Green.
South Gallia (1-7) charged out to a 21-10 lead, eight minutes into play, and the Rebels extended their lead to 40-23 by halftime.
In the first half, the Rebels held a 15-to-13 rebounding advantage, while winning the turnover battle by a 13-to-8 clip. SGHS hit over 56 percent of its first half field goal tries, while Green was just 36 percent from the field, in the half.
The Rebels went cold after the break, however, and the Bobcats (2-7) trimmed the SGHS lead to single digits, 45-36, headed into the finale.
SGHS committed just one turnover over the final eight minutes, and the Rebels outscored Green by a 25-14 clip in the quarter, sealing the 70-50 victory.
“The work we’re doing is paying off,” SGHS head coach Larry Howell said. “We’ve kind of switched gears with what we wanted to do with attacking and our attitude. It’s great for them to get a win, they really celebrated in the locker room after the game.”
For the game, South Gallia held a 34-to-32 rebounding advantage, despite Green winning the offensive glass by a 14-11 count. The Rebels won the turnover battle by a 19-to-15 count, while holding advantages in assists (16-8) and steals (13-12).
“Two things we can control are our attitude and our effort,” Howell said. “We’re going to attack and if we’re going to lose, we’re going to lose shooting all the bullets in the gun, instead of just sitting back and trying to play conservative. I think it fits these kids, now that we’ve gotten into a flow and know who they are.”
The Rebels made 6-of-10 (60 percent) free throw tries and 29-of-60 (48.3 percent) field goal attempts, including 6-of-13 (46.2 percent) of three-point tries. Meanwhile, Green went 11-of-19 (57.9 percent) from the stripe and 17-of-56 (30.4 percent) from the field, including 5-of-24 (20.8 percent) from beyond the arc.
SGHS junior Austin Stapleton led the Red and Gold with a double-double effort of 24 points and 10 rebounds. Caleb Henry posted 14 points, with a team-high eight assists and a team-best four steals, while Eli Ellis chipped in with 11 points. Curtis Haner scored nine points, Colton Bowers marked five, while Austin Day added four points and nine rebounds. Bryce Nolan rounded out the SGHS total with three points in the win.
Tanner Kimbler led the guests with 22 points, followed by Tayte Carver with 20 points, two assists and four steals. Zach Huffman posted six points and nine rebounds in the setback, while Aaron Johnson finished with two points, 12 rebounds and three blocks.
SGHS returns to action on January 3, when River Valley travels to Mercerville for a non-conference clash. Green returns home on January 10, when they host Sciotoville East.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.