CENTENARY, Ohio — It wasn’t a vision of perfection, but the Blue Angels still looked pretty good to open the 2020 campaign.
The Gallia Academy girls basketball team shot 43 percent from the field and never trailed Thursday night during a 53-21 victory over visiting Point Pleasant in a non-conference contest in Gallia County.
The Blue Angels (3-6) missed their first seven shot attempts of regulation, yet managed to break away from a 2-all tie with a 9-0 run over the final 2:27 of the first quarter — giving the hosts a permanent cushion of 11-2 through one period of play.
The Lady Knights (1-7) received consecutive baskets from Brooke Warner in the opening minute of the second frame while closing to within 11-7, but the guests were ultimately never closer.
GAHS — which forced 15 first half turnovers, including eight in the second stanza — answered with a 12-0 surge over the next 4:55 to increase its advantage out to 23-7 with 2:04 remaining.
Warner ended Point’s 5:20 scoreless drought with a basket at the 1:39 mark, but the Blue and White countered with a 4-0 run to secure a 27-9 advantage at the break.
The Blue Angels shot 41 percent from the field in the first half and committed only eight turnovers while also claiming a 13-12 edge on the boards. PPHS, conversely, was 4-of-20 from the floor in the opening 16 minutes of play.
The hosts opened the third canto with seven consecutive points en route to a 34-9 lead, but Point Pleasant ended a 0-for-6 start from the floor with a Warner basket at the 2:05 mark. Both teams traded a basket apiece the rest of the way for a 36-14 contest entering the finale.
Warner capped a small 5-4 run with a bucket at the 5:01 mark that allowed the guests to pull to within 40-19, but they were ultimately never closer.
Chanee Cremeens poured in eight points as a part of a 13-2 run down the stretch that wrapped up the 32-point outcome — the largest lead of the night.
Petro provided a pair of free throws over the opening 2:30 of regulation for a 2-0 edge, but a Warner putback at the 4:24 mark tied the game at two.
Alex Barnes gave the hosts a permanent lead at 5-2 with an old-fashioned 3-point play with 2:27 left in the opening quarter. GAHS led by double digits over the final 20:09 of the contest.
The Blue Angels outrebounded the guests by a 30-22 overall margin, including a 14-11 edge on the offensive glass. The Lady Knights committed 24 turnovers in the setback, compared to only 16 giveaways by the hosts.
Gallia Academy netted 21-of-49 shot attempts overall, including misses on all five of its 3-point attempts. The Blue and White also went 11-of-15 at the free throw line for 73 percent.
Petro led GAHS with 16 points, followed by Barnes with a double-double effort of 15 points and 11 rebounds. Cremeens ended the night with 10 markers, while Preslee Reed and Regan Wilcoxon completed the winning tally with six points each.
Petro hauled in six rebounds for the victors, with Kaylie Clark also grabbing four caroms.
The Lady Knights made 9-of-43 shot attempts for 21 percent, including a 3-of-20 effort from behind the arc for 15 percent. The Red and Black did not attempt a single free throw in the contest.
Warner paced PPHS with a game-high 17 points, with Morgan Miller and Baylie Rickard completing things with two markers apiece.
Katelynn Smith and Tristan Wilson led the guests with six rebounds each. Rickard also hauled in five boards in the setback.
Gallia Academy hosted Meigs on Saturday and returns to action Monday when it travels to Pedro for an Ohio Valley Conference matchup with Rock Hill at 7 p.m.
Point Pleasant returns to the hardwood Friday, Jan. 10, when it hosts Lincoln County at 6 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.