COAL GROVE, Ohio — One-possession games are not being kind to the Blue Devils.
The Gallia Academy boys basketball team fell to 1-4 this season in contests decided by three points or less following a 48-45 setback to host Coal Grove on Wednesday night in an Ohio Valley Conference matchup in Lawrence County.
After stringing together a 3-game winning streak, the Blue Devils (6-8, 4-7 OVC) dropped their second straight 1-possession decision in yet another heartbreaking fashion.
The guests built a 10-8 lead after one quarter of play and were ahead 13-8 early into the second frame, but the Hornets (6-5, 3-3) answered with 10 consecutive points and ultimately never trailed again.
Both teams traded five points apiece over the remainder of the first half, giving CGHS a 23-18 edge headed into the break.
The Blue and White reeled off five consecutive points to knot things up at 23-all early in the third, but the hosts countered with four points apiece from Malachi Wheeler and Tait Matney as part of a 14-6 run to close the quarter with a 37-29 advantage.
The Red and Black opened the finale with three straight points and built their largest lead of the game at 40-29, but GAHS retaliated with a furious 13-4 push that closed the gap down to 44-42 after a pair of Kenyon Franklin free throws with 1:09 remaining.
Coal Grove extended its lead back out to 47-43 with under a minute remaining, then Cooper Davis converted a layup from the left side with 30 seconds left to make it a 47-45 deficit.
Trevor Hankins sank the first of two free throws with 16.5 seconds remaining to increase the lead out to its final 3-point outcome. Davis missed a game-tying 3-point attempt from the left wing just before the buzzer sounded.
Gallia Academy outrebounded the Hornets by a 33-27 overall margin, including an 11-8 edge on the offensive glass. The guests also committed 15 of the 25 turnovers in the game.
The Blue Devils made 16-of-43 field goal attempts for 37 percent, including a 3-of-15 effort from behind the arc for 20 percent. GAHS was also 10-of-21 at the free throw line for 48 percent.
Isaac Clary went scoreless in the second and fourth frames, but still paced the Blue and White with a double-double effort of 13 points and 11 rebounds. Franklin was next with eight points, while Carson Call added seven markers.
Brody Fellure chipped in six points and five rebounds, followed by Davis with five points and a team-best four assists. Drake Phillips and Wesley Saunders completed the scoring with three points each.
The Hornets made 16-of-41 field goal attempts for 39 percent, including a 5-of-14 effort from 3-point territory for 36 percent. The hosts also netted 11-of-21 charity tosses for 52 percent.
Matney led CGHS with 13 points, followed by Hankins with 11 points and Wheeler with seven markers. Jarren Hicks and Braxton Horn respectively added six and five points as well.
Elijah Dillon was next with three points, while Perry Kingery and Hunter Staton completed the winning tally with two points and one point.
Gallia Academy returns to action Friday when it hosts these same Hornets in an OVC tilt at 7 p.m.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.