CENTENARY, Ohio — In the end, it all came down to free throws.
The Gallia Academy Blue Angels went a perfect 7-of-7 in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter Thursday night en route to a 56-52 win over Rock Hill in an Ohio Valley Conference girls basketball game in Gallia County.
GAHS (7-6, 2-5 OVC) entered the fourth quarter leading RHHS (3-10, 0-8) by a score of 43-37, but clutch shooting from the charity stripe in the game’s final three minutes by freshman Ryelee Sipple, junior Ashton Webb and sophomore Alex Barnes allowed the hosts to hold on for the four-point win.
The game was tightly-contested from the initial tip as both teams shot poorly in the first quarter on their way to an 11-all tie. Both squads made just five shots from the field, as the Blue and White went just 5-of-20 shooting and Rock Hill was 5-of-12 from the field.
The Redwomen outrebounded the Blue Angels 10-5 in the second quarter and converted a small 14-12 run to take a 25-23 advantage into the halftime locker room — despite committing 11 of the 19 first half turnovers.
The Blue Angels charged out of the second half gates with a 9-0 run. Freshman Maddy Petro, one of four Blue Angels in double figures, scored eight points during that pivotal 20-12 third quarter run to help guide GAHS to a 43-37 advantage headed into the finale.
Despite the two-possession lead, however, Rock Hill closed the gap to 49-48 with 1:42 remaining. A Rock Hill foul with 1:29 to play sent Webb to the line for the first of seven straight makes during a 7-4 run to close out the game.
Webb, Sipple and Maddy Petro each scored 13 points to lead GAHS in individual scoring. Barnes also reached double figures with 11 points, including two trifectas.
Rounding out the scoring for Gallia Academy were Abby Cremeans with five points, including one three-pointer, and Macy Siders added one point.
Rock Hill’s Maddie Scott led all scorers with 24 points. Makayla Scott also reached double figures with 10 points, while Rileigh Morris contributed seven points.
Kyleigh Noel and Mackenzie Hanshaw chipped in five and four points, respectively. Lucy Simpson completed things with two points.
Gallia Academy also earned a season sweep of the Redwomen with a 53-50 victory on Dec. 4, 2017, in Pedro.
The Blue Angels host Portsmouth on Saturday at 4 p.m.
Scott Jones can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106.