MERCERVILLE, Ohio — A sweet victory for the Lady Rebels.
The South Gallia girls basketball team pulled off its first win of the 2015 campaign with a 53-44 victory over the visiting Federal Hocking Lady Lancers on Monday night in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division matchup in Gallia County.
The Lady Rebels (1-6, 1-3 TVC Hocking) got out in front early and stayed there the entire contest, despite a late rally from the Lady Lancers (1-5, 1-3).
After Hannah Dunfee scored the opening basket for Federal Hocking, Olivia Hornsby led a 5-0 run with a lay-up at the 6:41 mark in the first quarter. Ashley Northup connected with a three-point shot with a little over two minutes in the quarter.
Destiny Tabler netted her first-of-five threes for the Lady Lancers with 26 seconds left in the first period. A lay-up from Aaliyah Howell gave the Red and Gold a 12-9 edge after one quarter of play.
Tabler kicked off the second quarter with a shot from beyond the arc for Federal Hocking. After another Tabler three, Ashley Northup hit a three of her own as a part of a 7-0 run for the home team. Northup hit another three with 26 seconds in half to give South Gallia the 24-18 advantage at halftime.
Both teams were nearly even on stats after the first half, but the Lady Rebels’ 8-of-10 shots from the free throw line made the difference.
Mikayla Poling gave South Gallia its first points of the second half at the seven minute mark of the third quarter. Federal Hocking proceeded on a 7-2 run, bookend by baskets from Tabler. The Lady Rebels responded with another 7-0 run toward the end of the third period. Poling’s back-to-back buckets gave South Gallia a 39-27 heading into the finale.
The visitors attempted a comeback in the fourth quarter. A three from Tabler at the 5:18 mark got the Lady Lancers offense back in sync. The Lady Rebels got into foul trouble in the final quarter, giving Federal Hocking a chance to get back into the ballgame. Poling and Northup extended the Red and Gold’s lead consecutive baskets with 2:49 left in the contest.
The Lady Lancers made four points on three trips to the foul line in the final three minutes, but it wasn’t enough to complete the comeback.
South Gallia finished the game shooting 19-of-48 field goals (40 percent), while Federal Hocking shot 16-of-57 from the field (28 percent). The Lady Lancers a 32-to-16 edge in rebounds, but finished with 13 turnovers. The Lady Rebels only turned the ball over nine times in the game.
Poling led the Red and Gold with 18 points, followed by Northup and Erin Evans with 12 points apiece. Howell finished with seven points, while Hornsby had four points for South Gallia.
“We’re just young and playing as a team,” South Gallia coach Corey Small said. “This was a great learning experience. We learned how to close a game halfway, but, now, we know in practice we’ve got to work on last minute situations.”
Tabler led the Maroon and Gold with a game-high 23 points. Dunfee finished with nine points, while Jordan Gillian had five points. Skylar Hatfield, Miranda Scott and Audrey Blake each had two points and Kayli McPherson contributed on point for Federal Hocking.
South Gallia will travel to TVC-Hocking rival Wahama on Thursday. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Donald Lambert can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106