GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — A night to remember.
The Ohio Valley Christian boys basketball scored the first 22 points of Friday night’s homecoming tilt with visiting Sugar Creek, and the Defenders never looked back. For the game, OVCS shot 50 percent from the field and cruised to a 65-17 victory, in the Old French City.
The Defenders (14-5) led 22-1 at the conclusion of the opening stanza and the OVCS lead grew to 38-6 by halftime.
The Eagles were held scoreless in the third canto, allowing Ohio Valley Christian to expand the lead to 51-6 with eight minutes to play. The hosts outscored Sugar Creek by a 14-to-11 clip in the final period, capping off the 65-17 victory and the Defenders’ second win in as many nights.
“We’ve got a couple of games on our schedule that aren’t great competition for us right now,” sixth-year OVCS head coach Steve Rice said afterwards. “It’s nice to have those kind of games early in the season, but maybe not toward the end. We got some good experience for the young guys and since everybody scored, team morale is up.”
All 10 Defenders scored in the win, led by Marshall Hood with 16 and Justin Sizemore with 14. Austin Ragan scored 12 points, Justin Beaver added eight, while Elijah McDonald and Josh McDonald scored four and three respectively. Dillon Ragan, Michael Gruber, Drew Sims and Bryce Gruber each scored two points to round out the OVCS offense.
Hood led the hosts on the glass with nine rebounds, followed by Sims with eight. Dillon Ragan marked a team-best five assists, while Sizemore, Austin Ragan and Elijah McDonald each recorded four. Sizemore led the OVCS defense with five steals, while Hood contributed two steals and two blocks.
The Defenders shot 1-of-2 (50 percent) from the free throw line and 28-of-56 (50 percent) from the field, including 8-of-18 (44.4 percent) from three-point range. As a team the Blue and Gold recorded 30 defensive rebounds, 10 offensive boards, 23 assists, 17 steals, three blocks and 18 turnovers.
Jacob Carpenter led the guests with eight points, followed by Seth Nichols with four, Chase Nichols with three and Chanan Van Berake with two. Matt Mercer led Sugar Creek with six rebounds, followed by Carpenter with five. Mercer, Carpenter and Seth Nichols each had an assist for the Eagles, while Van Berake paced the defense with four steals.
The guests shot 3-of-5 (60 percent) from the charity stripe and 6-of-46 (13 percent) from the field, including 2-of-17 (11.8 percent) from long range. As a team the Eagles finished with 20 rebounds, three assists, eight steals and 22 turnovers.
The Defenders also topped Sugar Creek on January 4, by a 75-30 tally in Lawrence County.
OVCS returns to action on Tuesday when Mid-Valley Christian visits Gallipolis.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.