MERCERVILLE, Ohio — Back to basics … and back on track.
The South Gallia boys basketball team were plus-11 in turnovers and shot 50 percent from the field through three quarters of play Tuesday night en route to a convincing 65-33 victory over visiting Miller in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division contest in Gallia County.
The Rebels (7-4, 4-2 TVC Hocking) snapped a 2-game losing skid in impressive fashion as the hosts never trailed in the 32-minute affair.
The Falcons (2-9, 0-6) had a hot hand in the opening frame after making 7-of-11 field goal attempts, but the the Purple and White found themselves in a trio of 4-point deficits in the first five minutes of play.
MHS managed to tie things up at 13-all on a 3-pointer by Colby Bartley with 2:11 left in the opening frame, but a Jaxxin Mabe putback with 1:48 remaining sparked an 11-5 run that ultimately resulted in a permanent advantage of 24-18 through eight minutes of work.
From there, the night belonged to the Red and Gold — who ended up going on a 37-8 charge over the next two periods that also included a large portion of an impressive defensive stand.
Tristan Saber capped a quick 4-0 run with a pair of free throws at the 6:31 mark of the second, giving SGHS its first double-digit lead of 28-18.
Bartley nailed a trifecta seven seconds later, but MHS didn’t produce another made field goal for 15 full minutes of regulation — missing 19 consecutive shot attempts before its next make 37 seconds into the fourth quarter.
The Falcons did add a Bartley free throw with 4:21 left in the half, which whittled the lead down to 28-22. South Gallia, however, went on a 12-1 surge over the final 4:13 and held a comfortable 40-23 cushion at the break.
The Rebels went without a turnover in the second period and had only two at the intermission, compared to nine miscues by the guests. SGHS also held a 22-9 rebounding advantage at the half, including 11-1 on the offensive glass.
South Gallia made a 21-3 third quarter surge on 8-of-12 shooting while forcing five turnovers. Miller was 0-for-13 from the field as well, allowing the hosts to build a 61-26 advantage entering the finale.
Kyle Northup gave SGHS its largest lead of the night (63-26) on an offensive putback 20 seconds into the fourth, but Steven Wilson ended the shooting skid with a basket at the 7:23 mark — sparking a 7-2 run that wrapped up the 32-point outcome.
The Rebels outrebounded the guests by a 39-25 overall margin, including a 14-9 edge on the offensive glass. Miller also committed 17 of the 26 turnovers in the contest.
South Gallia made 27-of-59 field goal attempts for 46 percent, including a 4-of-15 effort from behind the arc for 27 percent. The hosts were also 7-of-8 at the free throw line for 88 percent.
Brayden Hammond led the Rebels with a game-high 21 points, followed by Saber with 12 points and Mabe with nine markers to go along with a team-best 10 rebounds. Hammond also hauled in nine caroms.
Northup and Layne Ours were next with eight points apiece, while Jared Burdette completed the winning tally with seven points.
The Falcons netted 11-of-45 shot attempts for 24 percent, including a 4-of-18 effort from behind the arc for 22 percent. The Purple and White also went 7-of-13 at the charity stripe for 54 percent.
Bartley paced MHS with 19 points, followed by Kylan McClain with seven points and a team-high six caroms. Braxton Cox was next with three points, while Wilson and Drew Starlin completed the tally with two markers each.
South Gallia returns to action Friday when it travels to Belpre for a TVC Hocking contest at 7 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.