Blue Angels hold off Athens, 47-40

By Alex Hawley -

THE PLAINS, Ohio — Finishing 2016 on a high note.

In its final game of 2016, the Gallia Academy girls basketball team snapped its six-game losing skid with a 47-40 victory over non-conference host Athens, on Thursday in McAfee Gymnasium.

The Blue Angels (3-6) fell behind 14-10, eight minutes into play, but they allowed Athens (1-11) to score just six points in the second quarter, and the guests took a 26-20 lead into the break.

GAHS led for the entire second half, outscoring Athens by a narrow 21-20 clip in the final 16 minutes.

For the game, Gallia Academy outrebounded the Lady Bulldogs by a 39-to-31 margin, while also holding a 13-to-5 steals advantage, a 9-to-4 blocks advantage and an 11-to-4 advantage in assists. However, AHS did win the turnover battle by a 19-17 edge.

The Blue Angels made 18-of-47 (38.3 percent) field goal attempts, including 2-of-5 (40 percent) three-point attempts. Meanwhile, Athens was 13-of-49 (26.5 percent) from the field, including 5-of-29 (17.2 percent) from beyond the arc. Both teams sank nine free throws, GAHS in 21 attempts and Athens in 10 tries.

The Blue Angels were led by sophomore Hunter Copley, who posted game-highs of 22 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. Alex Barnes and Adrienne Jenkins both scored eight points for the victors, Carly Shriver added five points, while Abby Cremeans and Kimberly Edelmann chipped in with two points each.

The GAHS defense was led by Cremeans with four steals and Jenkins with five rejections.

Laura Manderick led Athens with 15 points, followed by Emma Harter with eight points. Next were Lauren Abdella and Kaylee Stewart with six points apiece, followed by Lilly Mills with five. Abdella had team-bests of eight rebounds and two steals, Stewart led AHS with three assists, while Manderick blocked two shots.

The Blue Angels will return to action on Monday, when they host Point Pleasant.

Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.

By Alex Hawley