THE PLAINS, Ohio — Good enough for a good start.
The Gallia Academy boys basketball team opened the 2018-19 regular season on a solid note Friday night during a hard-fought 45-35 victory over host Athens in a non-conference matchup at McAfee Gymnasium in Athens County.
The visiting Blue Devils (1-0) were never able to comfortably break away from the Bulldogs (0-1), despite outscoring the Green and Gold in each of the four quarters of play.
The Blue and White received eight points from Cory Call en route to building an 11-7 first quarter lead, then Zach Loveday added five points during a 10-7 second quarter surge that resulted in a 21-14 halftime advantage.
Loveday added another half-dozen points during a contested 12-11 third period run that led to a 33-25 edge headed into the finale.
Caleb Henry scored five points as part of a 12-10 run that wrapped up regulation, allowing the Blue Devils to hold on for the 10-point triumph.
GAHS made 17 total field goals — including a pair of trifectas — and also went 9-of-18 at the free throw line for 50 percent.
Loveday paced the guests with a game-high 17 points, followed by Call and Justin McClelland with eight markers apiece. Henry and Logan Blouir completed the winning tally with six points each.
Athens netted 14 total field goals — including five 3-pointers — and also made just 2-of-5 free throw attempts for 40 percent.
Logan Maxfield led AHS with nine points, followed by Elijah Williams with eight points and Braylen Whiting with six markers.
Gallia Academy returns to action Tuesday when it travels to Bidwell for a matchup with River Valley in a battle of Gallia County programs.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.