CENTENARY, Ohio — Talk about ungrateful guests.
Visiting Chesapeake shot 50 percent from the field and never trailed while also spoiling Senior Night activities for the Gallia Academy girls basketball team on Thursday night during a 57-35 decision in an Ohio Valley Conference contest in Gallia County.
The host Blue Angels (10-12, 4-10 OVC) honored their lone senior — Macey Siders — before the game for her years of dedication to the program, but the Lady Panthers (11-11, 8-6) quickly spoiled the celebration after building an 11-2 edge less than five minutes into regulation.
The Blue and White were never closer than five points the rest of the way, and despite making a 9-5 run to close the opening period, trailed 16-11 after eight minutes of play.
The Purple and White never looked back from there as the guests shot 50 percent from the field as part of a 15-9 second quarter run that allowed CHS to establish a 31-20 cushion at the break.
Chesapeake sealed the deal on the outcome in the third frame as the guests made a 22-5 surge to secure their largest lead of the night at 53-25 headed into the finale.
The Blue Angels cut the deficit down to as much as 20 points (55-35) following a pair of Siders free throws with 1:58 left in regulation, but the hosts came no closer.
CHS — which held the Blue Angels without a field goal over the final 2:42 of regulation — received a basket from Shia Ervin with 1:06 left to wrap up the 22-point outcome.
The Lady Panthers — who limited Gallia Academy to just three second half field goals — also claimed a season sweep with a 55-28 decision at home back on Jan. 11.
It was a tough way to wrap up the regular season schedule — particularly at home — but GAHS coach Joe Justice was complimentary of his lone senior and what she’s meant to this program over the years.
“She’s come in here every day for four years and worked her tail off. She’s a great kid and you couldn’t ask for a better kid or a better leader,” Justice said. “She shows up in the offseason and worked, and she gets after it every day in practice. You couldn’t have a better kid come through your program than her. I just wish we could have sent her out with a win.”
The Blue Angels found themselves tied at two at the 6:51 mark of the opening period, but the Lady Panthers answered with nine straight points as part of a 14-9 run to close the opening canto ahead by five points.
Both teams scored six points apiece over the opening four-plus minutes of the second stanza as Alex Barnes scored a basket with 3:48 remaining in the half, making it a 22-17 contest.
CHS reeled off nine of the next 11 points, with Maddie Ward hitting a trifecta with 58 seconds left to give the guests their largest lead of the first half at 31-19.
Gallia Academy outrebounded the Lady Panthers by a slim 22-21 overall margin, including an 8-6 edge on the offensive glass. The hosts also committed 17 turnovers in the setback, one more miscue than Chesapeake’s final tally of 16.
GAHS made 11-of-39 field goal attempts for 28 percent, including a 2-of-17 effort from three-point range for 12 percent. The hosts were also 11-of-23 at the free throw line for 48 percent.
Barnes led the Blue Angels with 15 points, followed by Ryelee Sipple with seven points and Abby Cremeans with four markers. Siders, Ashton Webb and Maddy Petro also had three points apiece to complete the scoring.
Barnes and Petro led GAHS with six rebounds apiece, followed by Siders and Sipple with four caroms each.
Chesapeake connected on 23-of-45 shot attempts overall, including a 5-of-10 effort from behind the arc for 50 percent. The Purple and White also netted 6-of-10 charity tosses for 60 percent.
Karli Davis paced CHS with a game-high 22 points, with a dozen of those coming during that pivotal third quarter run. Natalee Hall was next with 15 points, followed by Brooke Webb with 10 points and Ward with five markers.
Shia Ervin contributed four points to the winning cause, while Taylor Hicks completed the winning tally with one point. Ervin hauled in a team-high six rebounds, followed by Davis with five boards.
With the regular season now complete, the Blue Angels now turn their attention to Fairfield Union in the opening round of the Division II tournament on Wednesday in Logan.
Justice acknowledges that there are a lot of similarities between Chesapeake and the Lady Falcons, so he’s hoping that this home finale will serve as somewhat of a guide for how Gallia Academy needs to approach things next week.
“This was a good game for us to get ready for Fairfield Union with because Chesapeake does a lot of the same things that Fairfield Union will try and do,” Justice said. “We had moments tonight where we executed and we had moments when we got in too big of a hurry. We’ll have to be more focused on our execution next week if we want to move on in the tournament.”
Gallia Academy’s D-2 sectional semifinal game with FUHS will begin at 8 p.m. The postseason game will be played at Jim Myers Gymnasium on the campus of Logan High School.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.