CENTENARY, Ohio — Control the glass and control the game.
The Gallia Academy boys basketball team grabbed a 32-to-23 rebounding advantage Friday night en route to a 48-46 victory over Southeaster Ohio Athletic League foe Chillicothe in Gallia County.
The Cavaliers (7-14, 5-5 SEOAL) jumped out to an early 9-2 lead in the opening 3:15 but GAHS (8-13, 4-6) answered with a 7-4 run to end the first. The Blue Devils went on a tare in the second period, out scoring CHS 15-to-4, including a 10-to-1 run that ended the half. Gallia Academy out rebounded Chillicothe 12-to-2 in the second period and GAHS held the 24-17 lead at the break.
The Blue Devils kept it going after halftime with a 10-to-4 run that gave them a 13 point lead 4:30 into the second half. Chillicothe answered with a 10-to-5 run that cut the lead to 39-31 headed into the finale.
“We played solid in the second quarter and really if you look at the first few minutes of the third quarter we were really solid,” Gallia Academy coach Tom Moore said. “I made a couple bad substitutions and we went from being up 13 to being up six. We got it to eight by the end of the quarter but it was a fight to the end.”
Chillicothe rallied for 15 points in the final period, its best quarter of the night. GAHS turned the ball over seven times over the final eight minutes of the game but scored nine points to seal its first ever victory over the Cavaliers.
“At the end we didn’t make a couple free throws and we didn’t take care of the basketball,” Moore noted. “We were playing sideways and playing not to lose instead of to win the game.”
The Blue Devils were led by senior Justin Bailey, who scored 23 points in the triumph. Reid Eastman marked eight points, Jeremy Wilson added six, Wes Jarrell scored four and Nick Clagg finished with three. Cody Call and Wade Jarrell each had two points to round out the GAHS total.
Gallia Academy shot 15-of-25 (60 percent) from the charity stripe and 14-of-41 (34.1 percent) from the field. The Blue Devils connected on five three-pointers, two each from Eastman and Wilson, while Bailey had one. GAHS turned the ball over 17 times in the game.
The Cavaliers were led by Tommy Bolte and Nate Rosenbauer with 13 points apiece, followed by Tim Beard with eight. Adam Bixler and Davidson each had three points, while Eddy Wells, Nolan Taylor and Zehnar finished with two points apiece.
Chillicothe shot 10-of-17 (58.8 percent) from the line and 17-of-41 (41.5 percent) from the field. Bolte and Davidson each made a three pointer for CHS in the game.
The Cavaliers defeated Gallia Academy in the first meeting of the season by a count of 38-37 in Chillicothe on January 11th.
This marks the first victory for GAHS over Chillicothe, as CHS was 22-0 against the Blue Devils before Friday night.
Gallia Academy now has to look to the sectional final where it will have a rematch with Athens on February 22nd at 6 p.m. at Logan High School.
“Anytime you get a win it feels good,” said Moore. “We are fortunate this year and it was this way last year as well, we get four teams out of our sectional and if we win one game then we get out. When you get to tournament time anything can happen so we are looking forward to getting there next Friday.”