CENTENARY, Ohio — A late push before the half helped make a huge difference in the end.
The Gallia Academy boys basketball team made a 6-0 run just before halftime, then catapulted that momentum into a 17-point cushion through three periods on Saturday en route to a 64-51 victory over visiting Coal Grove in an Ohio Valley Conference matchup in Gallia County.
The Blue Devils (7-8, 5-7 OVC) twice trailed by a single point in the opening eight minutes of play, but the hosts ultimately never trailed after taking an 11-10 first quarter edge.
The Hornets (6-6, 3-4) got six points from Jarren Hicks as part of a 13-12 push that knotted things up at 23-all with roughly two minutes left in the half, but the Blue and White answered with six straight points to take a 29-23 lead into the break.
GAHS reeled off four straight points to start the second half, and the Red and Black were never closer than seven points the rest of the way. Leading 35-28, the hosts closed the third frame with a 12-2 push that resulted in a 47-30 cushion headed into the finale.
The 17-point edge was the largest of the night and CGHS never came closer than 10 points down the stretch, allowing the Blue Devils to salvage a season split with the Hornets. Coal Grove posted a 48-45 win at home just three days prior to the rematch.
Gallia Academy outrebounded the guests by a sizable 43-26 overall margin, including a 20-10 edge on the offensive glass. The Hornets also committed 16 of the 30 turnovers in the contest.
The Blue Devils netted 21-of-56 field goal attempts for 38 percent, including a 0-for-7 effort from behind the arc. The hosts also converted 22-of-28 free throw attempts for 79 percent.
Isaac Clary led GAHS with a double-double effort of 25 points and 16 rebounds, both of which were game-highs. Brody Fellure was next with 12 points and a team-best five assists, while Cooper Davis added 11 points and four steals.
Carson Call was next with eight points and Kenyon Franklin chipped in four points as well. Drake Phillips and Wesley Saunders completed the winning mark with two points each.
Coal Grove made 20-of-52 shot attempts for 39 percent, including a 3-of-18 effort from 3-point range for 17 percent. The guests also sank 8-of-12 charity tosses for 67 percent.
Hicks paced the Hornets with 20 points, followed by Braxton Horn with 12 points and Malachi Wheeler with 10 markers. Trevor Hankins and Perry Kingery were next with four points each, while Hunter Staton wrapped things up with one point.
Gallia Academy returns to the hardwood Tuesday when it hosts Marietta in a non-conference matchup at 7 p.m.
© 2021 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.