MERCERVILLE, Ohio — It was going to happen sooner or later, unfortunately for the Rebels, it happened Wednesday.
The Federal Hocking boys basketball team ended its 28-game losing skid on Wednesday in Gallia County, defeating Tri-Valley Conference host South Gallia by a 60-53 margin.
The Lancers (1-5, 1-4 TVC Hocking) — who’d dropped 20 consecutive league decisions — surged out to a 16-6 lead through eight minutes of play. The Rebels (0-6, 0-4) answered with a 22-to-6 second quarter run, however, giving the hosts a 29-22 halftime advantage.
SGHS added one point to its lead in the third quarter, outscoring the Maroon and Gold by a 11-to-10 count and making the margin 40-32 with eight minutes to play. In the finale, Federal Hocking outscored the hosts by a 28-13 clip, as the Lancers rallied to the 60-53 win.
The Rebels were led by Braxton Hardy with 23 points, coming on five two-pointers, a trio of three-pointers and four free throws. Curtis Haner and Austin Stapleton scored nine points apiece for the hosts, with Stapleton connecting on one trifecta.
The SGHS offense was rounded out by Eli Ellis, Austin Day and Bryce Nolan with five, four and three points respectively.
FHHS freshman Nathaniel Massie drained a game-high four three-pointers and led the victors with 31 points. Brad Russell scored 14 points for the guests, Branden Gould added nine, while Quinton Basim, Michael Johns and Hunter Smith chipped in with two points apiece.
From the free throw line, FHHS shot 12-of-25 (48 percent) and SGHS shot 7-of-16 (43.8 percent).
The Rebels will try to avenge this setback on Jan. 23 at Federal Hocking.
South Gallia wraps up 2017 with a pair of non-league contests, hosting Ohio Valley Christian on Friday and then traveling to Green on Saturday.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.