GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — A good start to the postseason hunt.
The Ohio Valley Christian boys basketball team had little trouble with visiting East Dayton Christian Friday night following a 60-17 victory in the opening round of the Ohio Christian Schools Athletic Association Southeast Regional tournament in the Old French City.
The Defenders (18-5) never trailed in the contest as the hosts scored the first 10 points en route to a 10-3 advantage after eight minutes of play, then the Blue and White made a small 8-5 run to start the second canto before closing the half with eight straight points — giving OVCS a comfortable 26-8 cushion at the break.
Ohio Valley Christian went on a 14-0 run out of the halftime gates for a 40-8 lead, then countered an EDCS basket with another 10-0 charge while securing a 50-10 edge headed into the finale.
The hosts claimed their largest lead of the game at 57-12 following a free throw by Justin Sizemore, but the Eagles (4-8) ended regulation with a 5-3 spurt to wrap up the 43-point outcome.
The Defenders — winners of seven straight decisions — outrebounded the guests by a sizable 31-12 overall margin and committed 11 turnovers in the contest, compared to 20 giveaways by EDCS.
Ohio Valley Christian connected on 16-of-27 field goal attempts for 59 percent, but went 0-for-5 from behind the arc. The hosts were also 28-of-36 at the free throw line for 78 percent.
Marshall Hood paced OVCS with game-highs of 15 points, eight rebounds and three blocks, followed by Austin Ragan with 11 points and Dillon Ragan with 10 markers. Dillon Ragan also had a team-best four assists.
Sizemore was next with eight points, while Justin Beaver and Elijah McDonald each added six markers, while Andrew Sims and Josh McDonald wrapped up the winning tally with two points apiece. McDonald also had a team-high seven steals.
East Dayton Christian netted 6-of-27 shot attempts for 22 percent, which included a 2-of-3 effort from behind the arc for 67 percent. The guests were also 3-of-5 at the charity stripe for 60 percent.
OVCS will play the winner of the New Hope Christian/Royalmont Academy contest next week in the OCSAA Southeast Regional final.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.