CENTENARY, Ohio — Just enough left down the stretch.
The Gallia Academy boys basketball team led wire-to-wire and built a 13-point first quarter lead, then held off a ferocious charge but visiting Southeastern while snapping a 3-game losing skid on Saturday night with a 57-55 victory in a non-conference matchup in Gallia County.
The host Blue Devils (2-3) stormed out to leads of 8-0, 17-4 and 23-10 throughout the opening eight minutes of play, with Isaac Clary providing a dozen points in building that 13-point cushion.
The Panthers, however, countered with seven points from Aston Allman as part of a 14-7 second quarter push that closed the gap down to 30-24 at the intermission.
Clary provided seven points during a small 14-13 third quarter run that allowed the hosts to extend their advantage out to 44-37 headed into the finale.
SEHS reeled off the first five points in the fourth to close to within 44-42 and managed to get as close as 56-55 with under 20 seconds left in regulation, but Cooper Davis netted the second of two free throw attempts with 9.5 seconds left to ultimately wrap up the 2-point triumph.
GAHS outrebounded the guests by a 28-24 overall margin, including a 10-8 edge on the offensive glass. The Blue Devils also committed only six of the 14 turnovers in the contest.
Gallia Academy went 23-of-49 from the field for 47 percent, including a 4-of-15 effort from behind the arc for 27 percent. The hosts were also 7-of-11 at the free throw line for 64 percent.
Clary led the Blue Devils with a double-double effort of 20 points and 16 rebounds to go along with a team-best six assists.
Davis was next with 16 points, while Carson Call and Noah Vanco respectively added nine and six markers.
Brody Fellure and Connor Walter completed the winning tally with respective efforts of four and two points.
Southeastern netted 23-of-50 shot attempts for 46 percent, including a 5-of-9 effort from 3-point territory for 56 percent. The guests were also a perfect 4-of-4 at the charity stripe.
Aiden Estep paced SEHS with 19 points, followed by Allman with 12 points and Luke Corcoran with 11 markers.
Parker George and Derek Wheeler respectively chipped in five and four points, while Cameron Hall completed the scoring with two points.
The Blue Devils host Fairland on Tuesday and South Point on Wednesday in a pair of OVC contests at 7 p.m.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.