CHESAPEAKE, Ohio — Good start. Better finish.
The Gallia Academy boys basketball team made a 31-20 charge in the first and last quarters on Friday night and held on for a 56-51 victory over host Chesapeake in the Ohio Valley Conference finale for both programs in Lawrence County.
The visiting Blue Devils (14-8, 9-5 OVC) received nine points from Cory Call while building a 16-8 first quarter advantage, but the Panthers (13-9, 5-9) countered with a 13-9 surge in the second frame that trimmed the deficit down to 25-22 at the break.
The Purple and White got eight points from Eli Archer in the third stanza as part of an 18-16 spurt that cut the lead down to 41-40, but the hosts were ultimately never closer.
The Blue Devils ended regulation a 15-11 run that included 11 points from Call down the stretch, allowing the Blue and White to wrap up the five-point outcome.
GAHS — winners of four straight decisions — also claimed a season sweep after posting a 68-57 decision in Centenary back on Jan. 18.
The guests made 22 total field goals — including four trifectas — and also went 8-of-18 at the free throw line for 44 percent.
Call — who netted 7-of-9 free throw attempts in the fourth — led GAHS with a game-high 28 points, followed by Justin McClelland and Blaine Carter with eight markers apiece.
Logan Blouir was next with five points, while Bailey Walker contributed three points. Ben Cox and Damon Cremeens completed the winning tally with two markers each.
CHS made 19 total field goals — including four 3-pointers — and also netted 9-of-14 charity tosses for 64 percent.
Archer led the Panthers with 19 points, followed by Levi Blankenship with 11 points and Travis Grim with six markers. Trent Dearth and Tylan Hutchison were next with four points apiece, while Nathan Cox chipped in three points.
Logan Walsh and Austin Jackson completed the CHS tally with two points each.
Gallia Academy returns to action Tuesday when it travels to Southeastern High School for a Division II sectional semifinal contest against River Valley at 8 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.