CENTENARY, Ohio — Rough start. Tough finish.
Visiting Fairland built a 14-4 first quarter lead and ultimately never looked back on Friday night during a 69-44 victory over the Gallia Academy boys basketball team in an Ohio Valley Conference contest in Gallia County.
The host Blue Devils (6-3, 3-2 OVC) had their three-game winning streak come to an end as the defending league champion Dragons (7-4, 4-1) received seven first quarter points from Clayton Thomas en route to building a 10-point advantage through eight minutes of work.
The Blue and White managed to keep things a bit more competitive in the second frame as Justin McClelland and Cory Call respectively poured in five and four points, but FHS still managed to win the second canto by a slim 12-11 margin while extending its lead out to 26-15 at the break.
Aiden Porter netted six points during an 11-7 third period surge that also saw McClelland pour in five points for GAHS, allowing the Green and White to expand their lead out to 39-23 headed into the finale.
The Blue Devils nearly matched their three quarter tally in the fourth quarter alone, but it wasn’t enough as FHS closed regulation with a 30-21 run — including a 13-of-17 effort at the charity stripe — while wrapping up 25-point outcome.
Gallia Academy made 16 total field goals — including a trio of trifectas — and also went 9-of-16 at the free throw line for 56 percent.
McClelland paced the hosts with 10 points, followed by Caleb Henry with nine points and Blaine Carter with seven markers.
Call and Logan Blouir were next with six points apiece, while Cole Davis, Ben Cox and Bailey Walker completed the scoring with two points each.
Fairland made 25 total field goals — including three 3-pointers — and also went 16-of-21 at the charity stripe for 76 percent.
Thomas led the guests with a game-high 19 points, followed by Austin Gartin with 17 points and Ian Chinn with 11 markers.
Porter and Jacob Polcyn were next with eight points apiece, while Matt Mondlak completed the winning tally with six markers.
Gallia Academy returns to action Tuesday when it travels to Portsmouth for an OVC matchup at 6 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.