GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — It just took a little time to warm up.
The Hannan boys basketball team shot 51 percent from the field over the final three quarters of play on Tuesday night en route to a 78-48 victory over host Ohio Valley Christian in a non-conference contest in the Old French City.
The Wildcats (4-9) never trailed in the contest as the guests built a 14-10 edge through eight minutes of play, then broke away from a 23-all tie with an 11-4 surge over the final 3:46 of the first half while building a seven-point intermission advantage.
The Defenders (4-12) were never closer as the Blue and White scored the first dozen points out of the break as part of a 23-7 third quarter charge that resulted in a 57-34 cushion entering the finale.
The Blue and Gold twice trimmed the lead down to 22 points, the last of which came at 66-42 with 5:05 left in regulation. Hannan led by as many as 32 points on three separate occasions over the final 80 seconds of play.
The victory allowed Hannan to claim a season sweep of Ohio Valley Christian after posting a 65-47 decision in Ashton back on Dec. 7, 2018.
More importantly, as HHS coach Shawn Coleman noted afterwards, it was nice to see such a balanced attack on both ends of the floor — most notably coming out of the halftime gates.
“We knew coming out of halftime that we had to do a better job of focusing our defensive attention on Mark Oliver and Justin Beaver. We put all of our effort on pressuring those two, and it ultimately led to more turnovers … which in turn led to some transition points,” Coleman said. “We still had too many turnovers, but our offense kicked it up a notch because our defense picked it up. We played hard for four quarters and we had a lot of people contribute to this win. I’m proud of the guys tonight because it was a good victory.”
That duo, coincidentally, had all but six of the Defenders’ 27 points at halftime. The pair combined for only 13 points in the second half.
OVCS coach Steve Rice was disappointed in the final outcome, particularly after battling to get things tied up midway in the second quarter. From there, as he noted, it just went really bad.
“We made a good run to get things tied up there in the second quarter, then we took three bad shots and had a turnover … and they went on a run that ultimately gave them all the momentum headed into the second half,” Rice said. “We were flat out of halftime and didn’t execute very well, and it just took off from there. We definitely had too many turnovers and those probably cost us 40 points in the game. It’s hard to win that way.”
Hannan outrebounded the hosts by a 42-36 overall margin, including a 16-12 edge on the offensive glass. The Defenders committed 24 turnovers — 14 of those came in the second half — while the guests had 15 giveaways.
The Wildcats netted 35-of-76 field goal attempts for 46 percent, including a 5-of-21 effort from behind the arc for 24 percent.
Dalton Coleman paced HHS with 22 points, followed by Casey Lowery, Andrew Gillispie and Chandler Starkey with a dozen points apiece. Chase Nelson also produced a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Devrick Burris was next with six points, while Ryan Hall and Caleb Gussler respectively closed out the winning tally with three points and one point. Coleman hauled in six boards, with Gillispie, Lowery and Gussler each grabbing five caroms.
The Defenders made 19-of-63 shot attempts for 30 percent, including a 2-of-19 performance from 3-point range for 11 percent.
Oliver led the hosts with a double-double effort of 28 points and 17 rebounds, both of which were game-highs. Beaver and Connor Walter were next with six markers each, while Bryce Gruber and Andrew Dubs added four points apiece.
Beaver followed Oliver with six caroms and Miciah Swab hauled in four boards in the setback.
Hannan returns to action Friday when it travels to Parkersburg Christian for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff.
OVCS hosts North Pleasants on Monday at 7:30 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.