CENTENARY, Ohio — The Blue Devils had one last chance to play on their home court in 2018, and well, they certainly made the most of it.
The Gallia Academy boys basketball team defeated Ohio Valley Conference guest Rock Hill by a 64-33 count on Tuesday in Gallia County, with the Blue Devils leading wire-to-wire in their first home game of the season and last until January.
Gallia Academy (3-1, 1-0 OVC) held the Redmen (3-1, 0-1) off the board for the first 3:30, jumping out to an 8-0 lead. The teams exchanged two-pointers, and then Rock Hill hit back-to-back three-pointers to cut the Blue Devil lead to 10-8 by the end of the stanza.
A GAHS two-pointer and a pair of RHHS free throws were the only points in the first four minutes of the second quarter, but the Blue and White ended the half with a 14-4 run and a 26-14 advantage.
The first two minutes of the second half were tightly contested, Gallia Academy outscoring the Redmen by a 6-5 clip to make the margin 32-19. However, the hosts ended the frame with a 16-to-3 run and headed into the finale with a 48-22 edge.
The Blue Devils cruised to the 64-33 victory with a 16-to-11 spurt in the final eight minutes.
Following the win, GAHS head coach Gary Harrison talked about having to push the pace, and the difference that made in the second half.
“Rock Hill went to a methodical offense to try and slow it down, we knew we were eventually going have to make the pace quicker,” Harrison said. “In the second half we came out, started trapping and got the intensity up and the whole second half changed.
“Give Rock Hill credit, they’re better than last year, they were 3-0 coming in and I thought we were a little flat after playing on Saturday. We didn’t play the best that we could play, but we know what we’re capable of. We have a lot of growing to do, you don’t want to peak yet.”
The Blue Devils made 26-of-54 (48.1 percent) of their field goal attempts, including 3-of-14 (21.4 percent) of their three-point tries. Meanwhile, Rock Hill was 12-of-36 (33.3 percent) from the field, including 4-of-11 (36.4 percent) from beyond the arc. At the free throw line, GAHS was 9-of-13 (69.2 percent), while RHHS was 5-of-6 (83.3 percent).
The Blue and White won the rebounding battle by a 32-to-15 clip, including 12-to-1 on the offensive glass. The Blue Devils had team totals of 13 assists, nine steals, four rejections and 12 turnovers, while the Redmen combined for five assists, eight steals and 17 turnovers.
Gallia Academy junior Zach Loveday made one three-pointer and led the hosts with a double-double of 18 points and 14 rebounds, to go with a game-best four blocked shots. Logan Blouir recorded 13 points and three assists in the win, while Cory Call added 11 points and three assists.
Caleb Henry and Bailey Walker finished with eight points apiece, with Henry picking up a team-best three steals. Justin McClelland contributed four points and three assists to the winning cause, while Blaine Carter chipped in with two markers.
Braden Stamper led Rock Hill with 17 points, a dozen of which came from beyond the arc. Jake Blagg and Garrett Miller scored eight points apiece, with Blagg posting game-highs of four assists and four steals. Logan Haskins scored four points and pulled in a team-best six rebounds in the setback.
GAHS will go for the season sweep of Rock Hill when these teams meet in Lawrence County on Jan. 22.
The Blue Devils continue OVC play on Friday at Ironton.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.