LOGAN, Ohio — A huge rebounding edge leads Athens to the Convo.
The Athens boys basketball team out rebounded Gallia Academy 41-to-18 Friday night en route to a 53-35 sectional final victory at Logan High School.
The Bulldogs (19-4) took the early lead after out scoring GAHS (7-16) 19-to-7 in the opening canto. The Blue Devils answered back with a 17-to-6 run in the second period but trailed 25-24 at halftime.
Gallia Academy was held to just three points in the third period, as Athens expanded its lead to 13 points with one quarter remaining. AHS closed the door on the Blue Devils with a 13-to-8 over the final eight minutes, giving the Bulldogs the 53-35 victory and the sectional championship.
The Blue Devils were led by seniors Justin Bailey and Cody Call with 10 points apiece. Reid Eastman chipped in with six points, Wade Jarrell finished with five, while Wes Jarrell added three. Jimmy Clagg rounded out the GAHS scoring with one point in the game.
The Blue Devils rebounding attack was led by Bailey with seven boards, while Eastman finished with a team-high four assists. Eastman also led the Gallia Academy defense with four steals on the night.
The Blue and White shot 8-of-10 (80 percent) from the charity stripe and 12-of-41 (29.3 percent) from the field, including 3-of-12 (25 percent) from beyond the arc. Call accounted for two of the GAHS three-pointers, while Wade Jarrell made the other.
As a unit the Blue Devils had 18 rebounds, seven assists and 11 steals. The Blue and White committed 16 tunovers and 14 team fouls.
The Green and Gold were led by Ibi Watson with 12 points, Joe Burrow with 10 points and Ryan Luehrman with nine points. Zacciah Saltzman marked seven points, Adam Luehrman added six and Jared Elmore finished with five. Sawyer Summer rounded out the AHS scoring with four points.
Watson and Ryan Luehrman each grabbed nine rebounds to pace the victors, while Watson finished with team-highs in assists with four and steals with four.
Athens shot 13-of-18 (72.2 percent) from the line and 18-of-45 (40 percent) from the field, including 4-of-16 (25 percent) from three. Watson marked two triples for Athens, while Burrow and Saltzman each had one.
Collectivly the Bulldogs had 41 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals. AHS turned the ball over 18 times and was whistled for 12 team fouls.
The Athens win completes the season sweep of the Blue Devils, as AHS also defeated Gallia Academy on December 11th.
The Bulldogs move to the district semi-final at the Convocation Center on the campus of Ohio University. Athens will face Chillicothe on Thursday at 8 p.m.
This marks the final game for GAHS seniors Nick Clagg, Jimmy Clagg, Justin Bailey, Cody Call, Aaron Jackson and Jeremy Wilson.