GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — The Defenders just needed to get warmed up.
The Ohio Valley Christian boys basketball team shot 60 percent from the field and used a 37-12 surge over the middle quarters Tuesday night to secure a 67-38 victory over visiting Wood County Christian in a non-conference boys basketball contest in Gallia County.
The host Defenders (12-5) battled through three ties and nine lead changes in the opening period, which led to each team holding three-point cushions before the Wildcats ultimately took a 16-15 edge.
OVCS senior Marshall Hood provided back-to-back baskets to start the second canto, then Elijah McDonald buried a trifecta moments later as the hosts secured a 22-16 advantage. Ohio Valley Christian closed the half on a 7-4 spurt for a 29-20 intermission edge.
The Defenders made their biggest charge of the night in the third frame after a 23-8 run allowed the Blue and White to secure a 52-28 lead headed into the finale.
OVCS used a 13-6 run out of the fourth quarter gate to claim its largest lead of the night at 65-34, but the Wildcats closed regulation with a 4-2 spurt to wrap up the 29-point outcome.
The hosts netted 26-of-43 field goal attempts overall and went 9-of-22 from behind the arc for 41 percent. Ohio Valley Christian claimed a 30-13 edge in rebounds and also went 6-of-10 at the free throw line for 60 percent.
Austin Ragan hit four trifectas and led the Defenders with 24 points, followed by Hood and McDonald with 17 markers apiece. Justin Sizemore was next with three points, while Dillon Ragan, Andrew Sims and Justin Beaver each contributed two markers to the winning cause.
Hood added team-bests of 10 rebounds and three blocked shots, while McDonald and Dillon Ragan each dished out five assists. Dillon Ragan also had a team-high three steals for the victors.
OVCS returns to action Friday when it hosts Sugar Creek Academy in a 7:30 p.m. contest.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.