Defenders cruise past Covenant

By Paul Boggs -

GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — How about 13 for 13?

As in, for the Defenders, they made 13 three-pointers — en route to their 13th victory of the season.

That’s because the Ohio Valley Christian School boys basketball team, in scoring exactly 36 points in both halves on Friday night, cruised past the visiting Covenant Christian Eagles — by a final count of 72-49.

And, in an even better breakdown, the Defenders scored 16 points in the opening quarters of each half — and 20 in the closing ones.

The Eagles amounted 11 points in each of the first two periods, but OVCS led 36-22 — thanks heavily to all five of Austin Ragan’s three-point goals.

He hit four three-pointers in the 20-point second stanza alone.

OVCS then took the third frame 16-12 to lead 52-34, before finally winning the final quarter 20-15.

With the victory, the Defenders raised their record to 13-8.

In all, OVCS shot a warm 43-percent (27-of-63) from the field, boosted by sinking half of its 26 three-point attempts.

In addition to the five from Ragan, Elijah McDonald made three in the fourth quarter —as Hollis Morrison managed a trio as well.

Bryce Gruber and Arden Peck, in the fourth period, also popped a triple apiece.

The Eagles, on the other hand, only shot 36-percent (17-of-47) — and were a cold 3-of-14 (21-percent) from long range.

OVCS also outrebounded Covenant Christian 36-27.

Four Defenders —Ragan, McDonald, Morrison and Justin Beaver — all reached double figures.

Ragan led the way with 18 points, as he also made a second-quarter two and a fourth-quarter foul shot.

McDonald and Morrison mustered 17 points apiece, as McDonald made four deuces — prior to his three fourth-quarter treys.

Morrison made six total field goals, and also went a perfect 4-of-4 from the free-throw line.

Beaver bucketed five field goals towards 10 points — and also pulled down 10 rebounds for a double-double.

McDonald dished out seven and Ragan six of the club’s 18 assists, as McDonald made off with four steals.

Michael Gruber, in the third frame, and Andrew Dubs — in the second — added a basket apiece.

OVCS also forced 18 Eagle turnovers, as Issac Massie led Covenant Christian with 14 points.

The contest also marked Senior Night activities for the Defenders, as Ragan, Morrison, McDonald, Michael Gruber and Nate Dubs were all recognized.

The Defenders return home tonight (Tuesday, Feb. 7) — when they host Calvary Christian at 7:30 p.m.

The matchup will follow the girls game (at 6 p.m.) between the two teams.

Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106

By Paul Boggs