Blue Devils down Bethel-Tate at URG

By Paul Boggs -

RIO GRANDE, Ohio —Looks like the Blue Devils gave new meaning to the phrase “no rest for the wicked”.

That’s because Gallia Academy, only 16 hours following Friday night’s disappointing defeat against Point Pleasant, atoned at least on Saturday in the annual Newt Oliver Coaches Classic inside the University of Rio Grande’s Newt Oliver Arena.

The Blue Devils defeated the Bethel-Tate Tigers 63-53 in a non-league boys basketball tilt, improving to 2-1 on the young season.

Gallia Academy only trailed once on Saturday, and that was by only three points only 32 seconds into the contest.

The Blue Devils led the Tigers 19-11 after the opening quarter, then outscored Bethel-Tate 18-12 to lead 37-23 at halftime.

Gallia Academy amassed its largest advantage with 5:38 remaining in the third period — a 20-point bulge before limiting the Tigers to only nine points in the canto.

The Blue Devils extended their margin to 49-31 following three frames, before the Tigers tallied 21 fourth-quarter points to the Blue and White’s 14.

Gallia Academy, after 25 turnovers against Point Pleasant in a heartbreaking 66-64 overtime home loss, reduced those in half on Saturday to 12.

Despite struggling still from the free-throw line at 10-of-17, the Blue Devils did shoot 54.5-percent from the field on 24-of-44.

They also made five three-point goals on 13 attempts, including two apiece by shooting guards Justin McClelland and Evan Wiseman.

Conversely, the Tigers shot just 36-percent (19-of-53) — including a frigid 28-percent (7-of-25) from three-point range.

Bethel-Tate, which fell to an even 2-2, did sink all eight of its free throws — including a perfect 4-of-4 by leading scorer Trenton Weeks.

Weeks, on eight total field goals including a pair of treys, paced all scorers with 18 points.

But the Blue Devils, which accounted for 18 assists, placed four players in double figures.

Justin Peck, on eight field goals, led the way with 17 points — as he nearly notched a double-double with nine rebounds.

McClleland finished with five field goals plus 3-of-4 free throws for 15 points, while Wiseman and Zach Loveday dropped in 10 points apiece.

Wiseman wound up with four field goals, while Loveday made three field goals and all four of his foul shots.

Loveday also grabbed seven rebounds, as McClelland dished out six assists — with Wiseman and Cory Call each collecting five.

Kaden Thomas tacked on the team’s other three for five points, while Call chipped in two field goals and Miles Cornwell canned two free throws.

Call with four and Cornwell with three led the squad in steals.

Gallia Academy returns home, and opens Ohio Valley Conference action, tonight (Tuesday, Dec. 13) against Chesapeake.

Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106

By Paul Boggs