PROCTORVILLE, Ohio — Simply outmatched.
The Gallia Academy boys basketball team couldn’t keep up with Ohio Valley Conference host Fairland — the third-ranked team in latest OHSAA Division III AP Poll — on Friday night in the Carl York Center, as the Dragons rolled to an 88-53 victory.
The Blue Devils (12-6, 8-4 OVC) scored the game’s first two points, but Fairland (19-1, 13-0 OVC) — which already clinched its 16th conference title, including its second straight — answered with an 11-0 run and never trailed again.
In the first quarter, the Dragons forced 11 turnovers, and didn’t commit any. FHS led 26-9 at the conclusion of the first, thanks to a 15-7 run over the final 4:30 of the stanza.
The hosts led by as much as 25, at 38-13 and again at 40-15, in the second quarter. GAHS outscored Fairland by a 10-to-6 count over the final 3:30 of the first half, making the Dragon lead 46-25 at halftime.
Fairland pushed its lead to 42 points in the third quarter, but Gallia Academy claimed the final two markers of the period, making the FHS advantage 75-35 headed into the fourth.
GAHS cut its deficit to as low as 33 points, at 77-44, in the fourth quarter, but Fairland capped off the 88-53 victory with an 11-to-9 run.
For the game, Fairland outrebounded the Blue Devils by a 43-to-26 clip, including 22-to-7 on the offensive end. FHS won the turnover battle by a 24-to-6 margin, while also holding advantages in assists (26-to-13) and steals (13-to-3). GAHS and FHS blocked three shots each.
The Blue Devils shot 21-of-52 (40.4 percent) from the field, including 6-of-20 (30 percent) from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, the Dragons were 37-of-77 (48.1 percent) from the field, including 9-of-25 (36 percent) from three-point range. Both teams made five free throws, GAHS in nine attempts and Fairland in 15 tries.
Gallia Academy junior Evan Wiseman led the Blue and White offensively with 19 points and five assists.
Gage Harrison, Dondre Armstrong and Blaine Carter each had six points in the setback, Kaden Thomas chipped in with five points, while Zach Loveday and Justin Peck both marked four points and seven rebounds. Logan Blouir and Cory Call rounded out the GAHS scoring with two points and one point respectively.
Loveday led the Blue Devil defense with two steals and three blocked shots.
FHS junior Isaiah Howell led the victors with 22 points, followed by Luke Thomas, Kollin Van Horn and Gunner Short with 14 points each.
Keedrick Cunningham posted nine points, Joel Lambiotte chipped in with five points and a team-best six rebounds, while Ty Slater marked five points and a game-best nine assists. Matt Mondlak and Chase Fisher rounded out the Dragon scoring with two points apiece.
The Fairland defense was led Thomas with four steals, and Van Horn with two rejections.
The Green and White also defeated Gallia Academy on January 13, by a 75-48 count, in Centenary.
After a trip to Point Pleasant on Saturday, GAHS will host Jackson on Tuesday.
The Dragons will try to complete their perfect run through the eight-team conference on Friday, when they face Chesapeake.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.