CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — Zach Johnson hit a three-pointer with four seconds left in regulation, allowing host Chillicothe to escape Friday night with a narrow 38-37 victory over the Gallia Academy boys basketball team in a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League matchup in Ross County.
The Blue Devils (4-8, 1-4 SEOAL) dropped their third straight decision in heartbreaking fashion, as the guests gradually watched a 21-18 halftime lead slip away in the second half. The Cavaliers (3-8, 3-2) made a small 8-5 run in the third canto to pull even at 26 headed into the finale, then completed their rally effort with a 12-11 spurt down the stretch to secure the one-point triumph.
GAHS led 12-11 after eight minutes of play, then made a 9-7 run in the second canto to take a three-point lead into the intermission. The hosts answered the second half bell with a 6-2 run to claim their first lead of the night at 24-23 with three minutes left in the third canto, but the Blue Devils responded with a 3-2 run to tie things up at 26.
Both teams found themselves deadlocked at 35 with less than a minute to play, but Cody Call drilled a jumper with 13 seconds left in regulation — giving Gallia Academy a 37-35 edge. Johnson — who scored all 14 of his points in the second half — capped a 10-point fourth quarter with his game-winning trifecta with four seconds remaining.
Justin Bailey led the Blue Devils with a game-high 17 points, a dozen of which came in the first half. Wade Jarrell was next with six points, followed by Nick Clagg and Wes Jarrell with three markers apiece.
Reid Eastman, Cody Call, Aaron Jackson and Jimmy Clagg each had two points to round out the scoring for GAHS, which went 8-of-13 at the charity stripe for 62 percent.
Johnson paced the hosts with 14 points, followed by Tommy Bolte with eight points and Nate Rosenbauer with six markers. CHS was 3-of-8 at the charity stripe for 38 percent.