ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — So close, but yet still so far.
The Meigs Boys basketball team cut its deficit to three points headed into the fourth quarter of Friday night’s Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division matchup inside Larry R. Morrison Gymnasium, but visiting Wellston poured in 18 points over the final eight minutes to escape Meigs County with a 67-58 victory.
The Marauders (0-9, 0-4) fell behind by six points after the opening period, with the Golden Rockets (4-3, 2-2) taking a 22-16 lead into the second. Meigs hit a trio of three-pointers in the second quarter, but were still outscored by a 16-13 clip, giving Wellston a 38-29 halftime advantage.
The Maroon and Gold outscored WHS by a 17-11 tally in the third period, cutting the Rocket lead to 49-46 headed into the finale. The guests capped off the 67-56 victory with an 18-to-12 run, scoring half of their fourth quarter points from the charity stripe.
For the game, Meigs shot 21-of-54 (38.9) from the field, including 5-of-13 (38.5 percent) from three-point range. The Marauders were 11-of-14 (78.6 percent) from the free throw line, where the Golden Rockets were 13-of-28 (46.4 percent).
As a team, MHS recorded 24 rebounds, nine of which came on the offensive end. Collectively, the Marauders totalled 10 assists, eight steals, one rejection and nine turnovers.
Christian Mattox and Weston Baer led the Maroon and Gold with 18 points apiece, including a trio of three-pointers by Mattox and two triples by Baer. Zach Bartrum scored 16 points in the setback, half of which came from the free throw line. Bobby Musser and Wyatt Hoover rounded out the Marauder total with four and two points respectively.
Bartrum led the hosts on the boards with nine rebounds, followed by Baer with six. Bartrum also finished with a team-high seven assists, while Baer led the defense with three steals. Musser came up with the lone rejection in for Meigs.
Wellston was led by Eddie Smith and Matt Simpson with 17 points apiece, followed by Jordan Lucas with 12 and Decota McKenzie with 11. Jase Arthur and Michael Graham capped off the winning total with five points each.
The Marauders will have a chance to avenge this setback on Feb. 2 at WHS.
Meigs returns to action on Friday at Marietta College, where they will take on Wood County Christian.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.