MERCERVILLE, Ohio — Thorough, from start to finish.
Visiting Ohio Valley Christian managed to make things interesting for four minutes, but the South Gallia girls basketball team scored 14 consecutive points over an nine-minute span of the first half and eventually rolled to a 54-23 victory on Tuesday night during a non-conference matchup of Gallia County programs.
The Lady Rebels (2-7) led wire-to-wire in the 32-minute affair as the hosts jumped out to a quick 6-0 edge 2:10 into regulation, but the Lady Defenders (4-5) countered with four straight points over the next two minutes to close to within 6-4 with 4:12 remaining in the first.
SGHS, however, forced seven turnovers and allowed only two shot attempts the rest of the period, all while scoring eight consecutive points over the final 2:50 en route to a 14-4 first quarter advantage.
Christine Griffith capped a 6-0 start to the second stanza with a basket at the 4:29 mark, extending the lead out to 20-4.
OVCS — which committed 10 turnovers in the second period — ended a 9:09 scoreless drought at the 3:03 mark as Leticia Araujo hit a basket, making a 20-6 contest.
The Red and Gold answered with the final four points of the first half, giving the hosts a 24-6 advantage entering the break.
The Lady Rebels forced eight more turnovers in the third, hit three trifectas and made an 18-2 surge while building 42-8 cushion headed into the finale.
Emily Childers pushed the Blue and Black into double digits following two free throws with 5:52 remaining, making it a 45-10 contest.
The Lady Defenders ended up winning the fourth quarter by a 15-12 margin, but South Gallia also led by as many as 37 points on three different occasions.
The Lady Rebels outrebounded the guests by a 35-25 overall margin, including a 20-10 edge on the offensive glass. SGHS also committed 16 turnovers, while Ohio Valley Christian surrendered 29 giveaways.
South Gallia netted 21-of-60 shot attempts for 35 percent, including a 5-of-15 effort from 3-point range for 33 percent. The hosts were also 7-of-14 at the free throw line for 50 percent.
Kiley Stapleton led SGHS with a game-high 18 points, followed by MaKayla Waugh with 12 points and Griffith with nine markers.
Amaya Howell was next with eight points, with Faith Poling and Emily Mandeville respectively adding four and two markers. Jaslyn Bowers completed the winning tally with one point.
Griffith hauled in a game-high 20 rebounds, while Stapleton and Waugh respectively grabbed six and four boards.
The Lady Defenders connected on 9-of-42 field goal attempts for 21 percent, including a 2-of-11 effort from behind the arc for 18 percent. The guests were also 3-of-4 at the charity stripe for 75 percent.
Childers — who was held scoreless through three quarters — paced OVCS with seven points and 11 rebounds, followed by Kristen Durst with five points and six caroms.
Aroujo was next with four points and four boards, while Marcie Kessinger chipped in three markers. Lauren Ragan and Lalla Hurlow completed the scoring with two points each.
The Lady Rebels return to action Thursday when they travel to Tuppers Plains for a TVC Hocking contest with Eastern at 6 p.m.
The Lady Defenders host Teays Valley Christian on Friday as the opener of a girls-boys varsity doubleheader at 6 p.m.
South Gallia and Ohio Valley Christian did not play their regularly-scheduled contest on Tuesday night. The game has been rescheduled for Saturday, Jan. 19, at SGHS.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.