COAL GROVE, Ohio — The rust finally wore off.
The Gallia Academy boys basketball shook off a slow start with a pivotal 22-14 third quarter charge and ultimately snapped a two-game losing skid on Friday with a 65-58 victory over host Coal Grove in an Ohio Valley Conference contest in Lawrence County.
The visiting Blue Devils (4-3, 2-1 OVC) notched their first victory in roughly four weeks, which included a two-week layoff before their last game at Logan a week ago.
The Hornets (6-3, 1-2) also added some extra pressure in the early moments as Cory Borders hit two trifectas while the hosts built a 12-2 lead before taking a 14-8 first quarter advantage.
The Blue and White, however, received seven points from Logan Blouir and got two trifectas from Justin McClelland during a 20-16 second period rally that allowed the guests to close to within 30-28 at the break.
Zach Loveday — who was limited to just three field goals and 10 points in the first half — dominated the second half as the junior poured in 10 points in the third while helping Gallia Academy to a 50-44 edge headed into the finale.
Loveday tacked on another nine points down the stretch as the Blue Devils closed regulation with small 15-14 run, wrapping up the final seven-point outcome.
GAHS made 25 total field goals — including four 3-pointers, all from McClelland — and also went 11-of-26 at the free throw line for 42 percent.
Loveday poured in a game-high 29 points despite going 5-of-16 at the free throw line. McClelland was next with 18 points, with Blouir adding 13 markers. Cory Call completed the winning tally with five points.
CGHS netted 21 total field goals — including seven 3-pointers — and also made 9-of-16 charity tosses for 56 percent.
Borders paced the hosts with 17 points and Aaron Music followed with 12 points. Payten Smith and Evan Gannon were next with nine markers each, while Ethan Short and Nate Harmon respectively chipped in four and three points. Evan Holmes completed the tally with two markers.
Gallia Academy started a three-game home stand on Saturday against Point Pleasant and returns to action Tuesday when it welcomes South Point for an OVC matchup at 6 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.