GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — Minimizing turnovers can make all the difference.
The Ohio Valley Christian girls basketball team played a tight game with the visiting Lady Saints for one half of Tuesday night’s contest in Gallia County, but the Lady Defenders utilized a 25-6 second half run to earn a 43-20 victory in their regular season finale.
OVCS (5-15) committed only two turnovers in the first quarter — while HCA (6-9) gave the ball away nine times — en route to an 8-6 advantage to begin the second period.
The two teams found themselves locked at 12-all with 3:46 remaining in the second quarter, but 6-2 run by the Lady Defenders to close the period put them ahead by a score of 18-14 at the midway mark.
The Blue and Gold connected on 5-of-38 field goal attempts for 13 percent, including a 0-of-11 performance from three-point range. OVCS also made 6-of-8 shots from the charity stripe for 75 percent. The Lady Defenders gathered 23 rebounds and committed 12 turnovers in the first half.
HCA made 5-of-25 shots from the field for 20 percent, including a 1-of-10 effort from long distance for 10 percent. The Lady Saints also connected on 4-of-10 from the free throw line for 40 percent. The Red and Black collected 20 rebounds and committed 19 giveaways.
The Lady Defenders took control of the game in the third period, as they once again minimized their turnovers to just three in the period. OVCS held HCA to a single field goal and two free throws over the span of eight minutes while manufacturing a 14-4 run for a 32-18 advantage entering the final frame.
Ohio Valley Christian closed out the fourth quarter on a 11-2 run to earn a 23-point victory.
Following the game, Lady Defenders coach Chris Burnett praised his team’s performance — particularly maintaining possession of the basketball.
“Taking care of the ball is always the priority,” Burnett said. “We did a better job tonight than we have in previous games this season. We also started forcing turnovers in the third quarter and that got us back in the game.
“We came out a little flat to start the game. We challenged the girls at halftime and we came out and hit all those goals in the third quarter and separated the score. It’s a good note to go out on.”
The Blue and Gold finished with a 17-of-73 performance from the field for 23 percent, including a 0-of-16 effort from beyond the arc. The Lady Defenders also hit 9-of-12 attempts from the free throw line for 75 percent. OVCS ended with 44 rebounds and 26 turnovers overall.
Emily Childers led the way with a game-high 17 points, while senior Cori Hutchison — playing in her final home game — was next and earned the first double-double of her career with 13 markers and 12 rebounds.
Lauren Ragan followed with seven points, as Lalla Hurlow, Yuyan Sun and Kristen Durst concluded the scoring for OVCS with two markers each, respectively.
In comparison, the Lady Saints connected on 7-of-53 field goal attempts for 13 percent, including 1-of-16 from three-point range for six percent. The Red and Black also had a 5-of-16 effort from the charity stripe for 31 percent. HCA pulled down 43 rebounds and turned the ball over 38 times.
Abby Scritchfield led the way for the Lady Saints with 10 markers, while Holly Creel was next with eight points.
Scott Jones can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext 2106.