GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — It’s not always about how you start, but rather how you finish.
The Ohio Valley Christian boys basketball team scored the first nine points of the game Friday night but the visiting Teays Valley Christian Lions came back to take the 71-59 victory.
After the Defenders scored the opening nine points of the game TVCS rallied back to tie the game at 11 by the end of the first quarter. The Lions kept the momentum going and surged to a 28-21 lead at halftime.
Teays Valley Christian expanded its lead to double digits by the end of the third quarter and cruised to the 71-59 victory.
The Defenders were led by T.G. Miller with 30 points, followed by Marshall Hood with 13 and Evan Bowman with six. Dillon Ragan had four points, while Phil Hollingshead, Elijah McDonald and Austin Ragan each had two points in the setback.
Ohio Valley Christian shot 24-of-65 (36.9 percent) from the field and 9-of-14 (64.3 percent) from the free throw line. The Defenders as a team had 35 rebounds, seven assists, 12 steals, four blocks and 20 turnovers.
Hood and Miller led OVCS with nine rebounds apiece followed by Hollingshead and Dillon Ragan with five each. Miller led the defense with seven steals, while Hood had four blocks. Miller and Bowman each had three assists to lead the Defenders.
The Lions were led by Jace Heller with 23 points and Vlad Novak with 18, followed by Zach Moore with 17 points and Parker D’antoni with 13.
TVCS shot 24-of-48 (50 percent) from the field and 16-of-25 (64 percent) from the free throw line. The Lions had 26 rebounds, 15 steals, 11 assists, seven blocks and 23 turnovers in the win.
Joesph led the Lions with seven rebounds, while Moore had six blocks. Novak had a game-high five assists, while D’antoni and Heller each had four steals.
This is the rubber match of the series as Ohio Valley Christian won the first meeting on December 12 and TVCS won the second matchup on December 20.