GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — About as much as you could ask for in a season opener.
The South Gallia boys basketball team forced 41 turnovers and had all nine players reach the scoring column Tuesday night during a 79-32 victory over host Ohio Valley Christian in a non-conference matchup of Gallia County-based programs.
The Rebels (1-0) trailed 4-0 two minutes into regulation, but the guests countered with 15 consecutive points over the next three minutes and ultimately never looked back.
After committing seven turnovers in the opening frame en route to a 17-8 edge, the Red and Gold started to find their offensive rhythm — thanks in large part to a suffocating full court trap.
The Defenders (3-5) committed 14 of their 23 first half turnovers in the second period, allowing SGHS to make a 21-5 surge while building a commanding 38-13 halftime cushion.
The Rebels then forced another dozen turnovers as part of a 22-9 third quarter charge that extended the score out to 60-22, then ended regulation with a 19-10 run to complete the 47-point outcome — the largest lead of the game.
South Gallia — which committed only 16 turnovers — shot 47 percent from the field and also claimed a 36-27 advantage on the boards, including a sizable 22-9 edge on the offensive glass.
Joel Daugherty and Mark Oliver provided back-to-back baskets that allowed OVCS to secure a 4-0 edge at the 5:57 mark of the first, but a steal and layup conversion by Kyle Northup allowed the guests to secure a permanent lead at 5-4 with 5:02 left.
The Rebels reeled off a 10-0 run over the next 2:11 for their first double-digit lead at 15-4, but the hosts countered with a small 4-2 run over the final 2:33 to close back to within nine.
Oliver capped a quick 5-2 run with a trifecta at the 5:43 mark, allowing Ohio Valley Christian to pull within 19-13. The Defenders were also never closer the rest of the way as SGHS closed the half with 19 unanswered points for a 38-13 lead.
Jeremiah Swab ended a 6:14 scoreless drought with a free throw at the 7:28 mark of the third, but the Rebels made a 14-7 run that extended the lead to 30 points with 3:29 remaining. SGHS followed with an 8-0 run over the final 2:34 and secured a 60-22 edge entering the fourth.
The Defenders cut the deficit down to 26 points on an Oliver basket at the 6:40 mark, but the hosts were never closer as the Rebels made a 19-8 run to wrap up the 79-32 finish.
South Gallia made 34-of-73 field goal attempts overall, including a 4-of-20 effort from behind the arc for 20 percent. The guests were also 7-of-11 at the free throw line for 64 percent.
Brayden Hammond led SGHS with a game-high 26 points, all but four of which came in the first half. Jaxxin Mabe, Jared Burdette and Tristan Saber were next with 12 points apiece.
Andrew Small followed with seven points and Layne Ours chipped in four markers, while Northup, Ean Combs and Jared Ward all added two points each.
Saber hauled in a team-high eight rebounds and Hammond grabbed seven caroms.
OVCS connected on 12-of-33 field goal attempts for 36 percent, including a 3-of-6 effort from behind the arc for 50 percent. The hosts were also 5-of-8 at the charity stripe for 63 percent.
Oliver paced the Defenders with 13 points and nine rebounds, followed by Bradley Haley with eight points. Daugherty and Conner Walter were next with five markers each, while Swab added one point and six caroms.
The Rebels return to action Friday when they travel to Eastern for their TVC Hocking opener at 7 p.m.
Ohio Valley Christian returns to the hardwood Thursday when it travels to Ironton to face Sugar Creek Christian Academy at 7:30 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.