Blue Devils outlast Portsmouth in 2OT, 71-68

By Bryan Walters -

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio — In a game full of runs, the Blue Devils made their final one count.

The Gallia Academy boys basketball team used a 22-17 fourth quarter surge to force overtime, then outscored host Portsmouth by an 11-8 count in eight extra minutes of play Friday night while claiming a 71-68 double overtime victory in an Ohio Valley Conference contest in Scioto County.

The visiting Blue Devils (16-3, 10-3 OVC) matched last year’s win total and also claimed a season sweep of the Trojans (11-7, 7-6) for a second consecutive regular season. GAHS previously posted a 76-50 decision in Centenary back on Jan. 27.

The Blue and White survived a long-range assault as PHS made 15 of its 19 total field goals from outside of the arc, with 10 of those coming through the middle frames as the Red and Blue built a 43-38 edge headed into the finale.

The Blue Devils, however, answered by hitting four of their seven trifectas down the stretch, plus went 3-of-4 at the free throw line as part of that five-point swing at the end of regulation — which tied things up at 60-all.

Both teams tallied five points apiece in a tightly-contested first overtime session, but Gallia Academy got baskets from Evan Wiseman and Zach Loveday while building a 69-68 cushion with just seconds left in the second OT.

Justin McClelland sank a pair of free throws to extend the lead out to three, and the Trojans ultimately came up short on a game-tying attempt — allowing the guests to sneak away with the triumph.

GAHS received eight points from Loveday as part of a 14-9 first quarter run, but Matthew Fraulini answered with four three-pointers as part of a 20-10 surge that gave Portsmouth a 29-24 cushion at the break.

D.J. Eley had 11 points for PHS and Loveday tacked on seven points for the Blue Devils during a 14-all third quarter, making it a five-point contest entering the fourth.

Gallia Academy made 28 total field goals — including seven three-pointers — and also went 8-of-11 at the free throw line for 73 percent.

Loveday led the Blue and White with a game-high 30 points, followed by McClelland with 16 points and Wiseman with nine markers.

Cory Call was next with six points, with Caleb Henry and Kaden Thomas rounding out the winning tally with five markers apiece.

Portsmouth hit only four of its 19 field goals inside the three-point line and also went 15-of-21 at the charity stripe for 71 percent.

Eley hit seven trifectas and led the hosts with 29 points, followed by Fraulini with 21 points and Daniel Jordan with seven markers. Myguel McKinley and Reese Johnson were next with respective efforts of five and four points, while Gabe Gambill completed the scoring with two points.

Gallia Academy returns to action Tuesday when it travels to Bidwell for an in-county matchup with River Valley at 7 p.m.

By Bryan Walters

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.