CENTENARY, Ohio — The hole was just too deep to climb out of.
The Gallia Academy girls basketball team hit nine three-pointers and made a valiant 35-25 second half charge, but the hosts ultimately came up short Wednesday on Senior Night during a 66-52 setback to Jackson in a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League matchup in Gallia County.
The Blue Angels (8-12, 1-6 SEOAL) trailed 24-7 after eight minutes of play and were never closer than the final 14-point outcome. The Ironladies (17-2, 8-0) followed with a 17-10 second quarter run to secure a commanding 41-17 cushion at the intermission.
JHS claimed its largest lead of the night at the 6:54 mark of the third period after Lydia Poe opened the second half scoring with a basket, giving the guests a 43-17 advantage. GAHS, however, countered with a 15-10 run over the final six-plus minutes to close to within 53-32 entering the finale.
Going against mostly reserves down the stretch, the Blue Angels made a 20-13 surge to wrap up regulation at the 66-52 margin.
Jackson — which had already clinched the outright SEOAL championship before the start of the contest — finished up the program’s third-ever league crown with its first-ever unblemished SEOAL record. The Ironladies also claimed a season sweep of GAHS after posting a 62-44 victory at JHS back on December 14.
Kendra Barnes led Gallia Academy with 23 points, followed by Micah Curfman with 20 points and Makenzie Barr with five markers. Kassie Shriver — the lone Blue Angel senior — tallied four points in her final home game with the Blue and White.
Jalea Caldwell and Whitney Terry rounded out the respective scoring with two points and one marker. The hosts were 15-of-24 at the free throw line for 63 percent and made 14 total field goals in the setback.
Lydia Poe paced Jackson with a game-high 34 points, followed by Madison Ridout with 10 points and Whitney Wills with nine markers. JHS was 16-of-31 at the charity stripe for 52 percent.