CENTENARY, Ohio — The Blue Devils did move up the proverbial ladder, and therefore forged another deserved spot.
That’s because Gallia Academy, by being the Ohio Valley Conference boys basketball runner-up, amounted three honorees on the league’s all-league club —which was released on Wednesday.
The Blue Devils — in just their second full-time winter in the OVC — placed freshman Zach Loveday and junior Justin Peck on the all-conference first team.
Gallia Academy’s automatic Honorable Mention choice was sophomore Justin McClelland.
The Blue and White, which placed second behind Fairland, went 8-4 in the OVC.
Portsmouth placed third, while Ironton and South Point tied for fourth.
Rounding out the order of finish were sixth-place Coal Grove, seventh-place Chesapeake and eighth-place Rock Hill.
The all-OVC girls and boys basketball clubs are selected by the league’s coaches, as the two conference champions had three first-team players be honored.
From there, the next four teams that finish in order in the conference standings land two first-teamers apiece, while the bottom three squads only get a single first-teamer.
All eight OVC schools are allotted one automatic Honorable Mention selection.
There are no Players of the Year selected, but Fairland’s Nathan Speed repeated as Coach of the Year.
For the second consecutive season, Speed guided the Dragons to a perfect 14-0 league mark —and another OVC outright championship.
Three Dragons donned first-team accolades: Isaiah Howell, Luke Thomas and Gunner Short.
Portsmouth’s pair of first-team picks were Kendal Reynolds and Mike Malone, while Ironton’s first-teamers included Ethan Wilson and Ryan Bryant.
South Point’s first-team tandem included Elijah Adams and Tayshaun Fox, while Jeb Jones of Coal Grove, Casey McComas of Chesapeake and Mason Darby of Rock Hill rounded out the first team.
In addition to McClelland, Ty Staten of Fairland, Daniel Jordan of Portsmouth, Raphael Glover of Ironton, Logan Wade of South Point, Aaron Music of Coal Grove, Austin Jackson of Chesapeake and Timmy Adkins of Rock Hill were all Honorable Mention.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106