McARTHUR, Ohio — The third quarter made the biggest difference.
The Gallia Academy boys basketball earned a 54-52 victory over non-conference host Vinton County after outscoing the Vikings by 14 in the third period.
The Blue Devils (11-9) held a one point lead by seven minutes into play but a three pointer for VCHS (10-7) gave the Vikings the 15-13 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Maroon and White led to 26-21 with five minutes into the second quarter and outscored GAHS 8-to-2 over the final three minutes of the half take the 34-23 lead into the break.
Gallia Academy rallied to take the 37-35 lead at the 5:27 mark of the third quarter and pushed the lead to three points headed into the finale. Vinton County led 51-50 with 1:30 to play but GAHS senior Reid Eastman hit a two-pointer to give the Blue Devils a one point lead.
The Vikings tied the game from the free throw line but Blue Devils Kole Cater and Jacob Strieter each made one from the charity stripe to give GAHS the two point lead. VCHS missed a three pointer at the buzzer and the Blue Devils took the two point win.
Alex White led the Blue and White with 12 points, followed by Wes Jarrell with 11. Kole Carter, Jacob Strieter and Reid Eastman each had nine points, while Mike Putney rounded out the GAHS total with four points.
The Blue Devils had 29 rebounds, eight assists, seven steals and nine blocks. Strieter had a team-high nine rebounds, followed by White with six. Wes Jarrell led the defense with four blocks and three steals, while Strieter had three rejections. Jarrell and White each had three assists in the win.
The Vikings had won two straight games prior to Tuesday and are now 2-1 against Southeastern Ohio Athletic League teams. GAHS is 3-0 against Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division teams and 4-0 against the TVC as a whole.