GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — That’s the way to finish off a win at home.
The Ohio Valley Christian boys basketball team turned a seven-point halftime lead into a 62-39 victory over visiting Teays Valley Christian, on Friday night in the Old French City.
The Defenders (10-4) charged out to a 9-3 lead through the first four minutes of play, but Teays Valley Christian ended the opening quarter with a 7-2 run that cut the deficit to 11-10.
Ohio Valley Christian opened the second quarter with a 16-5 spurt that pushed the lead to 27-15 with 1:30 left in the first half, but the guests scored six of the final seven points in the half, leaving OVCS with a 28-21 halftime advantage.
The hosts scored nine of the first 11 points to start the second half, pushing the lead to 37-23. TVCS outscored the Defenders 8-to-6 over the final six minutes of the third quarter, and the Lions trailed 43-31 with eight minutes remaining.
In the fourth quarter alone OVCS was sent to the free throw line 20 times, the Defenders were successful on 12 attempts, which helped to seal the 62-39 victory.
“We stepped up our defense,” sixth-year OVCS head coach Steve Rice said of the difference between the two halves. “We got a little ball pressure and we tried to make sure they weren’t penetrating as much as they were in the first half. They really hurt us with that in the first half and we tried to make sure they stopped.
“Offensively, we we’re trying to get the ball in the post as much as we could. They didn’t really have anyone that could match our big guy. We missed a lot of bunnies and a lot of open threes in the first half, but I was pretty happy with the way we played in the second half.”
Marshall Hood led the Defenders with 30 points, 17 rebounds and eight blocks, while Austin Ragan added 11 points, six assists and three steals. Elijah McDonald posted seven points, six assists, three steals and a block, Justin Beaver added six points and seven rebounds, while Justin Sizemore had six points. Dillon Ragan rounded out the OVCS scoring with two points, to go along with seven rebounds.
Shane Estep led TVCS with 17 points, six rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block, while Jordan Nicely added eight points and seven boards. Hunter Bell scored six points, Josh Dean added four, while Chase Hoover and Dean Cochran rounded out the Lion scoring with two points apiece.
Ohio Valley Christian shot 22-of-36 (61.1 percent) from the free throw line and 23-of-55 (41.8 percent) from the field, including 4-of-17 (23.5 percent) from beyond the arc. As a team the Defenders marked 32 defensive rebounds, 11 offensive boards, 16 assists, eight steals, nine blocks and 10 turnovers.
Teays Valley Christian shot 6-of-12 (50 percent) from the charity stripe and 15-of-58 (25.9 percent) from the field, including 3-of-19 (15.8 percent) from three-point territory. The Lions combined for 26 defensive rebounds, eight offensive rebounds, five assists, three steals, one block and 14 turnovers.
“Teays Valley has always been our biggest rival,” Rice said. “Anytime you can get a win over a rival it’s a huge plus. To beat them the way that we did, I’m really happy about that. It’s a big win going forward, because we have a couple of tough games next week.”
The Defenders return to action on Friday when 7-4 Wellston visits Gallipolis.
NOTES: At halftime of the varsity boys game, Ohio Valley Christian honored the 1991 WVCEA State Championship team, which was the first OVCS team to win a state title.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.