Defenders rally past WCC, 58-49

By Bryan Walters -

WILLIAMSTOWN, W.Va. — The third time was indeed a charm.

The Ohio Valley Christian boys basketball team used a 16-7 fourth quarter surge to pull away from host Wood County Christian Friday night en route to a 58-49 decision in a non-conference matchup in Wood County.

Both teams battled through seven ties and 21 lead changes throughout the course of regulation, but the Defenders (16-5) scored 15 of the game’s final 20 points — allowing the guests to secure their fourth straight victory.

OVCS also improved to 3-0 against the Wildcats this winter after posting a 57-39 win on November 22 at the Kingsway Tournament in Orrville, then the Defenders scored a 67-38 decision at OVCS back on January 26.

The Blue and White stormed out to a an early 13-6 advantage, but the hosts countered with a small 6-4 run to close to within 17-12 after eight minutes of play.

There were four ties and five lead changes in the second canto, but the Wildcats used a 19-11 run to take their largest lead of the first half at 31-28. OVCS, however, retaliated with an 8-2 run to close the half with a 36-33 edge at the break.

Both teams shared three leads apiece in the third stanza, and a small 9-6 run allowed WCC to knot things up 42-all headed into the finale.

After trading leads to start the fourth period, the Wildcats claimed their final advantage of the night at 44-43. Marshall Hood followed with a field goal that gave the guests a permanent cushion while also sparking an 11-0 run that led to a comfortable 54-44 cushion in the latter moments of regulation.

Wood County Christian closed the game on a small 5-4 spurt, but ultimately never came closer than three possessions the rest of the way.

The Defenders connected on 20-of-50 field goal attempts for 40 percent, including a 6-of-19 effort from behind the arc for 32 percent. The guests committed 12 turnovers, hauled in 35 rebounds and also went 12-of-23 at the free throw line for 52 percent.

Hood led OVCS with a double-double effort of 17 points and 18 rebounds, followed by Austin Ragan with 13 points and Elijah McDonald with 10 markers. Justin Beaver was next with seven points, while Justin Sizemore and Dillon Ragan respectively rounded out the winning tally with six and five markers.

Hood also posted a team-high four blocked shots, while Dillon Ragan led the guests with seven assists and four steals.

The Wildcats netted 19-of-40 shot attempts for 48 percent, which included a perfect 6-of-6 effort from three-point range. The hosts committed 11 turnovers and also went 5-of-6 at the charity stripe for 83 percent.

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

By Bryan Walters