Defenders roll past Grace, 77-60

By Bryan Walters - [email protected]

GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — There’s no place like home.

The Ohio Valley Christian boys basketball team shot 50 percent from the field while remaining unbeaten Thursday night following a 77-60 decision over visiting Grace Christian Academy in a non-conference matchup in Gallia County.

The Defenders (5-0) opened their 2015-16 home schedule in style, although the Soldiers managed to put up quite a battle in the early moments of regulation. GCA stormed out to early leads of 2-0 and 4-3, then rallied back to force ties at 13, 15 and again at 17-all.

OVCS, however, closed the opening canto with a 3-0 run to secure a 20-17 cushion after eight minutes of play. The hosts also led the rest of the way.

The Defenders went on an 11-4 run to start the second quarter, which allowed the Blue and Gold to secure a permanent double-digit lead at 31-21. The hosts twice led by 21 points in the first half at 44-23 and 46-25 before ultimately securing a 46-27 advantage at the break.

Grace won the third quarter by a slim 16-14 margin to close to within 62-41, but the hosts twice established leads of 22 points (68-46 and 74-52) down the stretch before wrapping up the 17-point triumph.

Ohio Valley Christian connected on 29-of-58 field goal attempts overall, including a 5-of-19 effort from 3-point range for 26 percent. The hosts also committed 10 turnovers and went 14-of-27 from the free throw line for 52 percent.

Marshall Hood led OVCS with 28 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocked shots, followed by Austin Ragan with 22 points and Elijah McDonald with 19 points, six assists and four steals. Dillon Ragan and Justin Beaver also added four points apiece for the victors.

Grace netted just 22-of-60 field goal attempts for 37 percent, including a 2-of-13 effort from behind the arc for 15 percent. The Soldiers outrebounded OVCS by a 40-32 overall margin, committed nine turnovers and went 14-of-23 at the charity stripe for 61 percent.

The Defenders travel to Calvary Friday and return home Monday to take on Cross Lanes Christian. Both games are scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.

By Bryan Walters

[email protected]