GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — Early momentum can often be enough to secure a victory.
The visiting Hannan girls basketball held a 14-2 lead over Ohio Valley Christian at the end of the first quarter on Tuesday night and carried that momentum the rest of the way to earn a 37-25 victory in Gallia County.
The Lady Wildcats (4-16) held the Lady Defenders (3-14) to a single field goal in the opening frame, while gathering 16 rebounds to build a 12-point advantage entering the second quarter.
Both teams struggled in the second period, as HHS made just 2-of-22 shot attempts from the field. In contrast, OVCS made only 2-of-7 field goal attempts, while committing 10 turnovers, and entered the locker room trailing by a score of 18-6.
Hannan built its 12-point lead at halftime by way of a 7-of-43 effort from the field for 16 percent, including a 1-of-7 from beyond the arc for 14 percent. The Blue and White collected 28 rebounds and committed seven turnovers. HHS was also 3-of-6 from the free throw line for 50 percent in the first half.
Ohio Valley Christian made 3-of-19 field goal attempts for 15 percent, including 0-of-4 from three-point range. The Blue and Yellow gathered 18 rebounds and committed 18 turnovers in the first half. OVCS also went 0-of-3 from the charity stripe.
The Lady Wildcats held the Lady Defenders scoreless over a span of 6:49 of the third period, as they utilized an 11-2 run to enter the finale leading 29-8.
OVCS cut the deficit to 10 points with 1:53 remaining in the contest, but a three-point play Hannan’s Bailey Coleman halted any hopes of comeback as the Lady Defenders’ 17-8 run to close the game wasn’t enough to prevent a 12-point loss.
“We played well for four quarters,” Hannan head coach Kellie Thomas said following the game. “I’m hoping we can carry it over to Thursday night when we play Buffalo at home. It’s our last regular season game and I’d like to be able to send our seniors out on a good note.
“With this win, we were able to be comfortable. I think that’s the most rebounds we’ve ever had in a game. We practice a lot on boxing out and getting position and I think tonight it finally clicked and we were able to do that.”
For OVCS head coach Chris Burnett, it was a game that his players could learn from.
“Our starting five were making mistakes early,” Burnett said. “We put the bench in the last four minutes of the second quarter and they started the second half. I think that showed the girls that normally start that if they step it up and play as team and with confidence we play a lot better.
“We’ve had games where teams have gotten to shoot until they score. We rebounded stronger tonight, but once we get that rebound we have to take care of it. It’s getting late in the season and we are still a work in progress but we are getting better.”
HHS made 16-of-73 shots from the field for 21 percent, including 1-of-10 from the beyond the arc for 10 percent. The Blue and White also shot 4-of-10 from the charity stripe for 40 percent. The Lady Wildcats collected 52 rebounds and turned the ball over 18 times in the contest.
Julie Frazier ended the night with a game-high 10 points, including one trifecta. Lindsey Holley followed with eight markers and Bailey Tolliver was next with six points.
Bailey Coleman and Halie Johnson were next each with four markers and three points, respectively. Josie McCoy, Hannah Carroll and Tanika Coleman rounded out the scoring for the Lady Wildcats as they chipped in two points apiece.
The Lady Defenders shot 10-of-50 for 20 percent, including 1-of-10 from three-point range for 10 percent. OVCS also went 1-of-4 from the free throw line for 25 percent. The Blue and Yellow committed 29 giveaways and pulled down 43 rebounds.
Emily Childers finished the game with nine points, including one trifecta. Kristen Durst was next with eight points.
Cori Hutchison, Lauren Ragan, Lalla Hurlow and Chloe Payne each chipped in two points apiece to round out the scoring.
OVCS returns to the hardwood on Monday as they host Heritage Christian at 6 p.m.
The Wildcats next face Buffalo at home on Thursday at 6 p.m.
Scott Jones can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106.