CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio — The Ohio Valley Christian boys basketball team dropped its third straight decision Tuesday night following a 61-36 setback to host New Hope Christian Academy in a non-conference matchup in Pickaway County.
The visiting Defenders (6-3) jumped out to early leads of 2-0 and 4-2, but the Statesmen eventually broke away from a six-all tie with a 9-2 surge — giving the hosts a 15-8 cushion after eight minutes of play. OVCS was never closer the rest of the way.
NHCA opened the second canto with a 9-5 run to secure its largest lead of the first half at 24-13, then both teams traded four points apiece to enter halftime with a 28-17 score.
The Defenders closed to within eight points (34-26) following a 9-6 run to start the second half, but the hosts countered with basket before the end of the third — allowing the Statesmen a 36-26 cushion headed into the finale.
NHCA closed regulation with a 25-10 surge and ultimately led all of the fourth quarter by double digits while securing its largest lead with the final 25-point outcome.
OVCS connected on 12-of-32 field goal attempts for 38 percent, including a 2-of-7 effort from 3-point range for 29 percent. The guests committed 11 turnovers and also made 10-of-13 free throw attempts for 77 percent.
Marshall Hood led the Defenders with 16 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots, followed by Austin Ragan with 11 points and Elijah McDonald with five points. Justin Sizemore rounded out the Ohio Valley Christian tally with four markers.
McDonald handed out a team-best five assists, while Sizemore and Justin Beaver each had three steals in the setback. OVCS did claim a 24-18 advantage on the boards.
New Hope netted 23-of-36 field goal attempts for 64 percent, including a perfect 6-of-6 effort from behind the arc. The hosts committed 11 turnovers and also went 11-of-20 at the charity stripe for 55 percent.
The Defenders return to action Saturday night when they travel to Bidwell for a non-conference matchup with River Valley at 7 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.