CENTENARY, Ohio — A defensive effort worth noting.
Visiting Chesapeake was held scoreless over a 10-minute span between the first and third quarters, and the Gallia Academy boys basketball team made the most of that length opportunity Friday night during a 58-30 victory in the Ohio Valley Conference finale for both programs.
The Blue Devils (18-3, 11-3 OVC) trailed 2-0 a little over a minute into regulation, but the hosts reeled off 10 consecutive points before the Panthers (5-16, 3-11) were able to answer again while building a 14-6 advantage eight minutes into play.
CHS committed only three of its 11 first half turnovers in the second frame, but the Purple and White missed all six of their shot attempts over that same span.
The Blue and White received a trio of three-pointers from Gage Harrison during that second stanza, which helped spark a 17-0 surge that gave the hosts a sizable 31-6 edge at the intermission.
At the break, GAHS had committed only three turnovers and went 11-of-30 from the floor — including a 3-of-9 effort from behind the arc. The Blue Devils also had more offensive rebounds (10) than CHS had total (8) for the half.
Chesapeake, conversely, mustered only two more shot attempts than turnovers, going a mere 2-of-13 from the field.
The Panthers finally ended their scoring drought at the 6:31 mark of the third as Tylan Hutchison converted a bucket for a 31-8 deficit, but the guests were never closer than 21 points (35-14) the rest of the way.
The Blue Devils ended the final 4:23 of the third stanza with an 11-4 run for a 46-18 lead, then twice led by 30 points down the stretch before wrapping up the 28-point outcome.
Gallia Academy claimed a season sweep of the Panthers after earning a 63-42 decision at CHS back on Jan. 19. The Blue Devils have also won four consecutive contests against the Purple and White.
Eli Archer gave Chesapeake its only lead of the night with a basket at the 6:55 mark, but the guests produced eight turnovers and seven shot attempts in the opening frame — providing a window of opportunity for the Blue and White.
Justin McClelland allowed GAHS to take a permanent lead at 4-2 with a basket at the 5:12 mark, and both Evan Wiseman and Logan Blouir netted four points apiece as the hosts built a three-possession lead.
After a quick 3-0 run for a 17-6 lead a minute into the second, Harrison scored nine of the next 11 points over a five-minute span while extending the cushion out to 28-6 with 2:13 remaining. Zach Loveday tacked on the final three markers for a 25-point advantage at halftime.
Loveday capped a 15-12 third quarter run after being on the receiving end of an alley-oop lob from Blouir with three seconds left, giving GAHS a commanding 28-point lead.
The hosts led 48-18 with 7:41 left and were again up 58-28 with 23 seconds remaining in regulation.
Gallia Academy — which clinched sole possession of second place in the final OVC standings — outrebounded Chesapeake by a 38-17 overall margin, including an 18-7 edge on the offensive glass.
The hosts also committed 14 of the 30 turnovers in the contest, with 11 of those coming in the second half.
The Blue Devils made 21-of-53 field goal attempts for 40 percent, including a 7-of-21 effort from behind the arc for 33 percent. GAHS was also 9-of-12 at the free throw line for 75 percent.
Loveday led the Blue and White with a double-double effort of 17 points and 15 rebounds to go along with four blocked shots, all of which were game-highs.
Harrison was next with 12 points on four trifectas, followed by Blouir with seven points and Wiseman with six markers. Kaden Thomas chipped in five points, while Cory Call and Caleb Henry each contributed four markers.
McClelland completed the winning tally with three points. Henry followed Loveday with five rebounds, with Blouir and Thomas each collecting four caroms.
Chesapeake netted 11-of-40 shot attempts for 28 percent, including a 2-of-8 effort from behind the arc for 25 percent. The guests were also 6-of-8 at the charity stripe for 75 percent.
Hutchison and Archer paced CHS with eight points apiece, followed by Logan Walsh with six points and Austin Jackson with five markers. Christian Layne and Cole Mills completed the scoring with two points and one point, respectively.
Gallia Academy hosted Point Pleasant in its regular season finale on Saturday night and begins tournament play Friday when it travels to Southeastern High School for a sectional final contest against Zane Trace at 8:30 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.
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