OAK HILL, Ohio — It was well within reach … and then it slipped away.
Host Oak Hill made an 8-1 push over the final 2:54 of regulation and ultimately held off the Gallia Academy girls basketball team on Wednesday night during a 41-31 decision in a non-conference matchup in Jackson County.
The Blue Angels (3-9) trailed by a single point after each of the first two frames and were down by five entering the finale, but the guests used an Emma Hammons free throw with 2:55 left to cap a 6-4 run and close the deficit down to a single possession at 33-30.
The Lady Oaks, however, converted 6-of-9 free throw attempts down the stretch and received nine markers from Brooke Howard in the fourth, and the late 7-point swing eventually allowed OHHS to walk away with the double-digit outcome.
Regan Wilcoxon hit two trifectas early for the Blue Angels, who ended up trailing 11-10 after one quarter of play. Both teams traded seven points apiece in the second frame for an 18-17 contest headed into the break.
Asia Griffin and Kenya Peck both had four points in the third frame, but the Lady Oaks increased their lead with an 11-7 run for a 29-24 edge entering the fourth.
Gallia Academy made eight field goals total — half of which were 3-pointers — and also went 10-of-22 at the free throw line for 45 percent.
Chanee Cremeens led the guests with eight points, followed by Wilcoxon and Preslee Reed with six markers apiece. Peck and Griffin respectively added five and four points, while Hammons completed the tally with two points.
Brooke Howard paced Oak Hill with a game-high 15 points and Chloe Chambers followed with 11 points. Jordan Howard also added seven points for the Lady Oaks, who were 11-of-17 at the charity stripe for 65 percent.
Gallia Academy returns to action after the new year as it welcomes Rock Hill for an Ohio Valley Conference matchup at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 3, 2022.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.