CENTENARY, Ohio — Not exactly the home opener to start with.
Visiting Ironton produced the first 14 points of regulation and ultimately had nine different players reach the scoring column Monday night during a 63-23 decision over the Gallia Academy girls basketball team in the Ohio Valley Conference opener for both programs in Gallia County.
The Lady Tigers (2-0, 1-0 OVC) built a 7-0 cushion less than two minutes into the game and doubled that lead before the midway point of the first as Evan Williams buried a field goal at the 4:14 mark en route to a 14-point advantage.
Preslee Reed ended the scoreless drought with a field goal at the 3:47 mark, but the Orange and Black countered with a 10-2 surge over the final three minutes for a 24-4 lead after eight minutes of play.
Both teams went scoreless for roughly three minutes in the second canto, but the Blue Angels (0-2, 0-1) kept pace over the next three minutes as an Alex Barnes field goal made it 30-10 with 2:46 remaining.
Ironton, however, closed the first half with 11 unanswered points while securing a 41-10 lead at the break.
The Blue and White didn’t produce a basket in the third frame and scored only on a Barnes free throw at the 3:09 mark, making it 49-11. IHS entered the finale ahead 51-11.
Kaylie Clark snapped a 12:41 spell between field goals with a basket at the 6:05 mark of the fourth, sparking a 4-0 run that closed the gap down to 51-15 with 5:30 remaining.
GAHS was never closer and Ironton took its largest lead of 60-17 with 2:06 left in regulation.
The Blue Angels netted nine 2-point field goals and also went 5-of-11 at the free throw line for 45 percent.
Reed led the hosts with nine points and Barnes followed with seven points. Clark was next with three markers, while Koren Truance and Maddy Petro each chipped in two points.
The Lady Tigers made 25 total field goals — including nine trifectas — and were also 4-of-5 at the charity stripe for 80 percent.
Both Evan Williams and Samantha LaFon paced the guests with 11 points apiece, with Kirsten Williams following with 10 markers and Kameren Arden adding nine points.
Elli Williams was next with seven points and Isabel Morgan chipped in six points. Lexie Arden, Kylie Deer and Teegan Carpenter wrapped up the winning tally with four, three and two points respectively.
The Blue Angels return to action Thursday when they host Coal Grove in an OVC matchup at 6:30 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.