Blue Devils burn South Point in OT, 56-53

By Bryan Walters - [email protected]

SOUTH POINT, Ohio — An exclamation point to go with this career night.

Senior Bailey Walker poured in a career-high 17 points, including a game-winning trifecta at the buzzer that allowed the Gallia Academy boys basketball team to claim a 56-53 overtime victory over South Point on Tuesday night in an Ohio Valley Conference matchup in Lawrence County.

The Blue Devils (13-8, 8-5 OVC) trailed 7-0 midway through the opening frame, but the guests rallied with a 10-2 surge the rest of the period to secure a slim 10-9 edge through eight minutes of play.

The Blue and White kept that momentum going into the second quarter as a 9-6 surge allowed GAHS to increase its cushion out to 19-15 at the intermission.

The Blue Devils taked on the first four points of the third stanza and secured their largest lead of the night at 23-15, but the Pointers (8-13, 5-8) rallied with a 17-9 charge that ultimately knotted things up at 32-all headed into the finale.

Blaine Carter poured in six points for GAHS, while Chance Gunther tacked on eight markers for the hosts as both teams netted 15 points apiece down the stretch run — ultimately leaving the game tied up 47-all at the end of regulation.

Gallia Academy never trailed in the extra four minutes of action, but found themselves with possession with less than 10 seconds left in the midst of a 53-all contest.

In isolation at the top of the key, Cory Call penetrated into the lane and kicked a pass out to Walker on the left wing as the defense collapsed. Walker released his uncontested trifecta attempt just before the horn sounded, and the ball found nothing but the bottom of the net.

The victory allowed GAHS to claim a season sweep after posting a 54-43 decision in Centenary back on Jan. 8.

The Blue Devils outrebounded the Blue and Gold by a 22-17 overall margin, including an 8-5 edge on the offensive glass. The guests also committed 15 of the 28 turnovers in the contest.

Gallia Academy netted 21-of-41 shot attempts for 51 percent, including a 5-of-9 effort from behind the arc for 56 percent. The Blue and White also went 9-of-13 at the free throw line for 69 percent.

Walker and Carter both paced GAHS with 17 points apiece, followed by Justin McClelland with 10 points and Cole Davis with eight markers. Call completed the winning tally with four points.

Walker also led the guests with a team-best six rebounds, with McClelland and Call respectively hauling in five and four boards. McClelland and Carter both dished out four assists apiece, while Carter also had a team-high four steals.

The Pointers made 20-of-38 shot attempts for 53 percent, including a 7-of-12 effort from behind the arc for 58 percent. The hosts also went 6-of-10 at the charity stripe for 60 percent.

Gunther paced SPHS with a game-high 21 points and also added team-bests of five rebounds and three assists. Austin Webb was next with 11 points, while Nakyan Turner and Roger Staggs respectively chipped in seven and five markers.

Marcus Malone, Brody Blackwell and Mason Kazee completed the scoring with three points each.

Gallia Academy — winners of three straight — completes its regular season schedule on Friday when it travels to Chesapeake for an OVC matchup at 7 p.m.

By Bryan Walters

[email protected]

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

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