WATERFORD, Ohio — A third squad just joined the discussion in what was previously considered a two-team race.
The South Gallia boys basketball team threw its hat into the ring of league championship hopefuls Tuesday night following a stunning 52-43 triumph over host Waterford in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division matchup at the Harry Cooper Annex in Washington County.
The visiting Rebels (12-2, 9-2 TVC Hocking) picked up their eighth consecutive victory while also avenging a 65-59 setback to the Wildcats (9-3, 7-2) back on December 15 in Mercerville — which currently serves as the Red and Gold’s last loss.
SGHS led after each of the first two quarters and entered the fourth clinging to a slim 28-27 edge, but the guests completed their epic upset bid with a 24-16 surge down the stretch — which included an impressive 11-of-15 effort from the free throw line — to wrap up the three-possession outcome.
South Gallia — which currently sits one loss behind only Trimble in the overall league standings — led 9-7 after eight minutes of play, then Landon Hutchinson and Kane Hutchinson each contributed four points during an 11-9 second period run that gave the guests a 20-16 cushion at the break.
WHS — currently ranked eighth overall in the Division IV AP poll — got four points from Jordan Welch as part of an 11-8 third quarter push, allowing the hosts to close to within a point headed into the fourth quarter. SGHS, however, had six different players contribute at least two points apiece down the stretch while claiming the nine-point win.
Landon Hutchinson led a balanced Rebel attack with a game-high 15 points, followed by Kane Hutchinson with 12 points and Darren Drenner with eight markers. Joseph Ehman and Corey Rhodes were next with six points apiece, while Caleb Henry rounded out the winning tally with five markers.
The Red and Gold made three of their 15 field goals from behind the arc and also went 19-of-28 at the free throw line for 68 percent.
Welch led the Wildcats with 14 points and Bryce Hilverding chipped in 10 points, while Cody Harris and Riley Burns respectively added six and four markers. Tyler McCutcheon was next with three points, while the trio of Isaac Huffman, Andrew Thieman and Travis Pottmeyer rounded out the host tally with two markers each.
Waterford made five of its 18 field goals from three-point range and also netted 4-of-5 charity tosses for 80 percent.
South Gallia returns to action Friday when it hosts Miller in a TVC Hocking contest at 6 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.