WILLOW WOOD, Ohio — The outcome was decided right after halftime.
Host Symmes Valley used a 10-4 third quarter surge to ultimately pull away from the South Gallia boys basketball team Friday night during a 44-35 decision in a non-conference season-opening matchup in Lawrence County.
The Rebels (0-1) received six points from Curtis Haner in the opening canto, but the guests found themselves in a small 14-10 hole through eight minutes of play.
Both teams followed with nine points apiece in the second canto, which allowed the Vikings (1-0) to secure a 23-19 advantage at the break.
The Rebels mustered only one field goal and a pair of free throws during the third quarter, while Jarod Sheppard scored four of the hosts’ 10 points as the Vikings increased their lead to 33-23 headed into the finale.
Haner and Caleb Henry led the Rebels on a fourth quarter charge with four points apiece, but their slim 12-11 run down the stretch wasn’t enough to overcome the final nine-point outcome.
Haner — who scored nine first half points before shut out in the third canto — led the Rebels with 13 points, followed by Henry with 10 points and Austin Stapleton with seven markers.
Josh Henry was next with four points, while Eli Ellis rounded out the SGHS tally with one point. The guests were 9-of-17 at the free throw line for 53 percent.
Payton Hayes led SVHS with 13 points and Sheppard was next with 11 points, followed by Chayden Renfroe with six points and Austin Mannon with five markers.
Brock Carpenter was next with four points, while Hunter Adams and Levi Cade respectively chipped in three and two markers.
Symmes Valley snapped a three-game losing skid against the Rebels and improved its all-time mark against SGHS to 7-6.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.