CENTENARY, Ohio — One big run can change the course of the entire game.
At halftime, the Gallia Academy girls basketball team was tied with Ohio Valley Conference guest Portsmouth, but a 13-2 run to start the second half propelled the Blue Angels to a 52-41 victory, Thursday night in Gallia County.
The Blue Angels (2-8, 2-6 OVC), who never trailed in the game, held Portsmouth (3-10, 1-6) to just 4-of-21 shooting in the opening quarter, as the GAHS lead was built to 14-8.
Gallia Academy committed 11 turnovers in the second quarter alone, allowing the Lady Trojans to battle back and tie the game at 20 headed into the half.
GAHS didn’t allow a field goal for nearly six minutes to start the second half, and the Blue Angels charged out to a 33-22 lead. The teams played evenly over the final two minutes of the third quarter, each scoring seven points, making the Blue Angel advantage 40-29 headed into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Trojans cut the deficit to single digits early in the fourth quarter, but by the 3:30 mark Gallia Academy’s lead grew to a game-high 16 points. PHS scored seven of the final nine points, but fell by a 52-41 final tally.
“We’re taking better care of the ball and offensive we executed pretty well,” third-year Gallia Academy head coach Joe Justice said. “Trying to make adjustments on the fly and in timeouts, we’re young and we’re not quite there yet. Once we get in the locker room, we can show them on the board what we need to do. We did a good job of executing on defense, which led to easy buckets.”
GAHS senior Jordan Walker led the victors with 13 points and 14 rebounds, while Jalea Caldwell added 10 points and nine boards. Carly Shriver scored nine points, KoKo Higa added eight, while Adrienne Jenkins marked seven points and seven rebounds. Gallia Academy freshman Hunter Copley rounded out the Blue Angel scoring with five points in the win.
Caldwell and Higa both had four assists to lead GAHS, while Copley added three. Caldwell also led the Blue Angels on defense with five steals, followed by Higa with four. Jenkins posted three steals and two blocked shots, while Walker came away with three steals and one rejection.
The Blue Angels shot 11-of-27 (40.7 percent) from the free throw line and 19-of-50 (38 percent) from field, including 3-of-12 (25 percent) from beyond the arc. As a team the Blue and White had 27 defensive rebounds, 16 offensive boards, 13 assists, 20 steals, five blocks and 31 turnovers.
Jasmine Eley led PHS with 11 points, followed by Semajah Parker and Wesleigh Jackson with eight each. Faythe Lee finished with six points, Kylisha Kearns marked four, Sharia Kearns added three, while Destiny McKenzie rounded out the PHS scoring with one point.
Parker pulled in eight boards to led the guests, followed by Eley with seven and Sharia Kearns with six. Eley also marked team-highs in assists with five and steals with four, while Kylisha Kearns marked a team-best two blocks.
The Lady Trojans made 4-of-7 (57.1 percent) free throw attempts and 16-of-70 (22.9 percent) field goal attempts, including 5-of-23 (21.7 percent) from three-point range. The Red, Blue and White finished with 22 defensive rebounds, 15 offensive rebounds, 10 assists, 12 steals, four blocks and 24 turnovers.
These teams are scheduled to square off again on February 4, in Scioto County.
“We’re getting better everyday,” Justice said. “We’re improving, but we’re still not in some games we should be in. Now we’re getting ready to go on a stretch to see how much we have improved.”
Gallia Academy — which visited Logan in a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League tilt on Saturday — returns to the court on Monday, when Chesapeake visits Gallia County for an OVC showdown.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.