Blue Devils rally past Ironmen

By Paul Boggs -

CENTENARY, Ohio — Looks like the Blue Devils still had some fuel left in the tank.

Playing their fourth game in five nights, still battling illness and injury, and trailing visiting Jackson by 10 points with two-and-a-half minutes remaining, Gallia Academy — somehow, someway — amassed another victory.

That’s because the Blue Devils, by outscoring the Ironmen 22-16 in the final quarter, pulled off a 54-49 come-from-behind non-league triumph on Tuesday night.

Jackson doubled up Gallia Academy 14-7 following the opening stanza, but the Blue Devils —by stymieing the Ironmen to only four second-period points — inched to within 18-16 at halftime and 33-32 after three stops.

The Blue Devils scored 16 first-half points, but amounted 16 points in each of the final two quarters.

Gallia Academy exacted a measure of revenge upon the Ironmen, having been beaten by a Bryce Hall buzzer-beater in the two clubs’ initial meeting this season at Jackson (60-57).

The Blue and White are now 15-6 — and have won three consecutive contests.

The Blue Devils — before Tuesday — played at Fairland on Friday, at Point Pleasant on Saturday and at Coal Grove in a makeup matchup on Monday.

Jackson ended its regular season at 9-13.

Both teams tallied 16 total field goals — 10 two-pointers and six three-pointers.

The difference was in free throws, as the Blue Devils dropped in 16-of-19 —compared to 11-of-18 for the Ironmen.

In fact, Gallia Academy meshed a perfect 10-of-10 in the fourth quarter, part of 12-of-12 in the entire second half.

Evan Wiseman, with three threes and 8-of-10 free throws, led the Blue Devils with 17 points.

Justin Peck posted five field goals for 10 points, while Kaden Thomas and Cory Call each collected nine.

Thomas tallied a fourth-quarter three-pointer, as he and Wiseman were 4-of-4 from the stripe in the fourth.

Call chipped in three deuces and a first-quarter triple.

Zach Loveday, with two twos and 2-of-2 foul shots in the fourth period, landed six points.

He also had four blocked shots.

Miles Cornwell canned a fourth-quarter three-ball, as the Blue Devils were once again playing without the injured Justin McClelland.

Cooper Donaldson dialed in for six total field goals and 5-of-8 free throws for 18 points to pace the Ironmen.

Payton Speakman —on five total field goals — added 11, as Hall netted nine and Carson Spohn scored eight.

Hall and Spohn sank a pair of three-pointers apiece, as Donaldson and Speakman each splashed one.

Blake McCoy, with a fourth-quarter basket, and Kendall Neal —with a third-period free throw —rounded out the Red and White.

Donaldson with a bucket and Hall with two foul shots scored the only second-stanza points for Jackson.

The Blue Devils will close out the regular season at home on Friday night — when they host Portsmouth in the Ohio Valley Conference.

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

By Paul Boggs