BIDWELL, Ohio — Second half defense seals the season sweep.
The Gallia Academy girls basketball team — which defeated in-county rival River Valley by 16 points in the season opener, at GAHS — held the Lady Raiders to just seven points in the second half on Saturday, as the Blue Angels claimed a 36-30 victory at RVHS.
Gallia Academy (8-11) — which improved to 5-3 outside of the Ohio Valley Conference and picked up its second win in its last three chances — charged out to a 15-9 lead, eight minutes into play. River Valley (2-18) fought back to tie the game at 23 by halftime.
After four scoreless minutes to start the second half, GAHS went on a 5-2 run and ended the period with a 28-25 lead.
Gallia Academy capped off the 36-30 win with an 8-to-5 run, with half of the victors’ fourth quarter points coming from the free throw line.
River Valley has now lost 14 straight decisions and falls to 0-10 outside of the Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division.
For the game, GAHS was 8-of-21 (38.1 percent) from the free throw line, while River Valley was 7-of-12 (58.3 percent).
Gallia Academy senior Adrienne Jenkins led all scorers with 14 points. Next for the Blue Angels was Carly Shriver with nine points, followed by Hunter Copley with seven, Jenelle Stevens with four and Alex Barnes with two points.
The Lady Raiders were led by Erin Jackson and Jaden Neal with nine points apiece, however, both RVHS leaders were held scoreless in the second half. Savannah Reese scored three points in the setback, Maggie Campbell, Jessica Steele, Cierra Roberts and Kaylee Gillman each added two points, while Beth Gillman chipped in with one marker.
Both RVHS and GAHS were on the road in their respective leagues on Monday, as the Lady Raiders visited Nelsonville-York and the Blue Angels traveled to Fairland. Gallia Academy returns home on Thursday to host Portsmouth, while River Valley will entertain Vinton County, on Thursday.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.