Defenders win at Wood County Christian

By Paul Boggs -

WILLIAMSTOWN, W. Va. — On another cold night, Hollis had the hot hand.

That’s because Hollis Morrison made six three-point goals en route to a game-high 22 points, and the visiting Ohio Valley Christian School Defenders fended off Wood County Christian 58-57 on Tuesday night in a cross-state boys basketball tilt.

The three-point reliant Defenders drained eight on 20 total attempts, as Morrison managed six with five of them coming in the opening half.

He attempted 13 from beyond the arc himself, as OVCS outscored Wood County Christian 15-10 in the second quarter, erasing a 17-15 first-period deficit.

While Wood County Christian charged ahead 46-43 following the third frame, the Defenders rallied back to win the final stanza 15-11.

The Defenders, despite only earning 15 rebounds, did shoot a sizzling 16-of-25 for 64-percent from inside the arc — and only committed five turnovers.

They also overcame only attempting five free throws, while the Wildcats went a near-perfect 9-of-10.

The Defenders’ defense did the job on the perimeter as well, only allowing four Wildcat threes on 15 tries.

With the win, the Defenders captured their fourth consecutive victory — and raised their record to 6-2.

They also avoided an upset bid by the Wildcats, which fell to 1-10.

Morrison finished with eight total field goals, as Elijah McDonald dropped in 10 points, including the club’s other trifectas in the second and fourth quarters.

He also sank both of OVCS’ free throws — in the final canto.

Justin Beaver, on seven field goals, boasted 14 points.

Austin Ragan and Andrew Dub dropped in two buckets apiece for four points, while Michael Gruber and Nate Dub rounded out the OVCS scoring with a third-quarter basket.

Beaver grabbed seven of the Defenders’ 15 rebounds, while Morrison dished out four of the squad’s 11 assists.

Ragan, Beaver and McDonald each made off with three steals.

Luke Spencer of the Wildcats, with nine field goals and 4-of-5 free throws, tied Morrison for game-high honors with 22 points.

D.J. Spencer, on four total field goals and 5-of-5 foul shots, added 17.

Trey Davis dialed in two treys for the Wildcats, while D.J. Spencer sank the other two.

Garrett Napier also scored six points on three field goals.

The Defenders return home, and return to action tonight (Thursday, Dec. 22), when they host Teays Valley Christian at 7:30 p.m.

The matchup will follow the girls game (at 6 p.m.) between the two teams.

Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106

By Paul Boggs