ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio —This time, the contest was much closer, but the end result was just the same.
And, all of the sudden, the Meigs Marauders are right back in the Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division boys basketball race.
That’s because the chips fell right on Tuesday night — in more ways than one.
First off, bolstered by a 16-of-31 free-throw performance, the Marauders slipped past the visiting Wellston Golden Rockets 80-76 inside Larry R. Morrison Gymnasium.
Then, Meigs found itself only a game back in the TVC-Ohio championship chase, thanks to Athens’ 79-75 overtime upset at league leader Vinton County.
With the Marauders’ win, they raised their record to 13-2 — and now 5-2 in the division.
Meigs remains tied in the TVC-Ohio with Alexander and Athens, as Alexander defeated River Valley 54-34 in another league tilt.
Vinton County suffered its initial league loss in seven games.
On Dec. 8, at Wellston High School, the Marauders steamrolled the Rockets by a count of 76-39.
On Tuesday, they broke a 39-39 halftime tie, winning the third quarter with Wellston 23-17.
In the fourth frame, Meigs made 10 of 19 free-throw attempts, while Wellston was just 7-of-10 for the entire game.
In fact, the Maroon and Gold shot 28 of its 31 freebies in the second half, and made 5-of-9 in the third.
All of Wellston’s foul-line attempts were in the final 16 minutes.
The matchup was also a three-point shooting contest, with Meigs making 10 while Wellston knocked down 13.
Wellston’s Braydon Womeldorf, who went off for a game-high 29 points, drained seven trifectas — all over the final three quarters.
Luke Musser of Meigs — who equaled Womeldorf with seven three-balls of his own — made all of his over the opening three frames.
Musser finished with a team-high 25, as Kaileb Sheets scored 20 points on seven total field goals, including two second-quarter treys.
The Marauders attempted 22 triples, while going 17-of-40 from inside the arc.
Sheets dished out 10 of the team’s 18 assists and blocked three shots, while Colton Lilly led in rebounds with seven and steals with three.
Lilly, on five field goals and six made free throws, made it three Marauders in double figures with 16.
Christian Mattox and Jared Kennedy grabbed six rebounds apiece, as Mattox mustered eight points and Kennedy seven.
Mattox made a first-quarter three.
Jaxon Meadows with a field goal and Dillon Mahr with two free throws rounded out the Maroon and Gold.
Caden Ervin, on six first-half field goals and two third-canto free throws, followed Womeldorf for Wellston with 14 points.
Chazz Davis, on five field goals over the final three periods, tallied 10.
Ryan Hawk had eight and Justin Rafferty six for the Rockets, while Caleb Stanley, Logan Collins and Daivon Newell all finished with three.
Rafferty and Hawk both canned two trifectas, while Collins and Newell each netted one.
Stanley sank an old-fashioned three-point play in the fourth quarter.
With the loss, the Golden Rockets fell to 1-5 in the league, part of 8-5 overall.
The Marauders return to action on Friday night by hosting River Valley in another TVC-Ohio affair.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106.