IRONTON, Ohio — On big quarter made all the difference.
A 17-9 second quarter run ultimately provided visiting Gallia Academy with plenty of breathing room on Friday night en route to a 53-46 victory over the Ironton boys basketball team in an Ohio Valley Conference contest in Lawrence County.
The Blue Devils (13-1, 7-1 OVC) picked up their eighth consecutive win while also picking up a season sweep of the host Fighting Tigers (3-12, 1-7). The Blue and White claimed a 70-46 decision at IHS back on Dec. 15, 2017, in Centenary.
Both teams found themselves deadlocked at 11 after eight minutes of play, but GAHS made its big move in the second canto. Kaden Thomas hit a trio of three-pointers and Cory Call added six points as the Blue Devils made their eight-point swing, allowing for a 28-20 cushion headed into the break.
Call scored another half-dozen points as part of a 12-10 third quarter spurt that gave the guests a 40-30 advantage headed into the finale.
The Orange and Black cut the deficit down to a single possession (49-46) with under a minute left in regulation, but Gallia Academy scored the final four points from the foul line to wrap up the seven-point triumph.
Ironton outrebounded the Blue Devils by a 32-30 overall margin and also committed eight of the 24 total turnovers in the contest.
GAHS connected on 19-of-41 field goal attempts for 46 percent, including an 8-of-19 effort from three-point range for 42 percent. The guests were also 7-of-11 at the free throw line for 64 percent.
Call led Gallia Academy with a game-high 18 points, followed by Thomas with 16 points and Evan Wiseman with 14 markers. Justin McClelland completed the winning tally with five points.
Thomas led the guests with six rebounds. Seven-foot sophomore Zach Loveday did not score in the triumph, but he did record five blocked shots.
The Fighting Tigers netted 14-of-47 shot attempts for 30 percent, including a 1-of-6 effort from behind the arc for 17 percent. The hosts were also 17-of-25 at the charity stripe for 68 percent.
Ethan Wilson led IHS with 17 points, followed by Joel Blankenship and Reid Carrico with 11 markers apiece. Kyle Adkins and Trent Milleson were next with three points each, while Hunter Humphreys completed the scoring with one point.
Gallia Academy hosted Portsmouth on Saturday night and returns to action Tuesday when it travels to Coal Grove for an OVC contest at approximately 7 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.