CENTENARY, Ohio — The Blue Devils threw one ‘big’ welcome back party.
Junior Isaac Clary returned from a 2-week layoff due to injury by pouring in a career-high 43 points while guiding the Gallia Academy boys basketball team to an 83-61 victory over visiting Chesapeake on Tuesday night in an Ohio Valley Conference matchup in Gallia County.
The Blue Devils (12-5, 6-5 OVC) found themselves in an early 15-3 hole, but the 6-foot-8 center rallied the hosts by scoring a dozen points as part of a 13-6 charge to close the opening canto trailing 21-16.
Clary — who scored at least five field goals in each period — tacked on another 11 points in the second frame, with Zane Loveday and Kenyon Franklin also adding four points each as part of a 23-7 surge that propelled GAHS to a 39-28 advantage entering the break.
The Panthers were never closer than seven points (41-34) the rest of the way as the Blue and White got 10 points from Clary and another nine from Loveday during a 23-21 run that increased the cushion out to 62-49.
Clary tacked on his final 10 points during a 21-12 fourth quarter push that wrapped up the 22-point triumph.
GAHS outrebounded Chesapeake by a substantial 57-21 overall margin, including a 26-10 edge on the offensive boards. The hosts committed 18 of the 30 turnovers in the contest, but also outscored CHS by a 68-20 margin in the paint.
The Blue Devils made 37-of-67 field goal attempts for 55 percent, including a 1-of-6 performance from behind the arc for 17 percent. Gallia Academy was also 8-of-19 at the free throw line for 42 percent.
Clary ended the night 20-of-27 from the floor and just 3-of-9 at the free throw line. The big man also recorded a double-double with a game-high 17 rebounds, with 13 of those coming on the offensive glass.
Loveday followed Clary for GAHS with 19 points, while Carson Wamsley and Brody Fellure chipped in five markers each.
Both Franklin and Carson Call added four points apiece, with Wesley Saunders and Drake Phillips completing the winning tally with two points and one point.
Franklin also had nine rebounds to go along with a team-high four assists.
The Panthers netted 22-of-60 shot attempts for 37 percent, including an 8-of-25 effort from 3-point range for 32 percent. The guests sank 9-of-15 charity tosses for 60 percent.
Levi Blankenship paced CHS with 26 points, followed by Dannie Maynard with 19 points and Braxton Oldaker with eight markers. J.D. Daniels and Ben Bragg completed the scoring with five and three points, respectively.
Gallia Academy returns to action Friday when it travels to Chesapeake for the rematch at 7 p.m.
The Blue Devils will also host Point Pleasant on Saturday evening in a non-conference tilt at 7 p.m.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.