Blue Devils rout Ironmen

By Paul Boggs -

CENTENARY, Ohio — Don’t tell Wes Jarrell about being tired.

Gallia Academy’s six-foot three-inch senior standout almost outscored the visiting Jackson Ironmen by himself Saturday night, as Jarrell’s 31-point performance spearheaded the Blue Devils’ 48-34 Southeastern Ohio Athletic League boys basketball makeup victory.

Jarrell dropped in 31 points on 12 field goals and 7-of-11 free throws, as Gallia Academy opened up as much as a pair of 21-point advantages (40-19, 42-21) in the final quarter.

Thanks to two home makeup matchups, of which Saturday’s was a reset from Friday, Jan. 22, the contest was the Blue Devils’ fourth game in five nights — and their third game in a row.

Gallia Academy improved to 6-11 overall, including 1-3 in their swan song season in the SEOAL.

The Ironmen dropped to 2-16, and 0-4 in the league.

Jackson’s only leads were at 2-0 and 4-2, as the Blue Devils’ dozen consecutive points over a span of almost eight minutes put them in full control.

The Ironmen actually went seven minutes and 45 seconds without a singe point — until Cooper Donaldson scored with six minutes and 25 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

A rebound putback by Peyton Speakman made it 14-8 with 5:45 before halftime, but the Ironmen never got closer than 19-13 — following a Carson Spohn three-point play with two-and-a-half minutes left.

Gallia Academy led 10-4 following the first quarter and 25-15 at halftime, as the Blue Devils then outscored Jackson 13-4 in the third period — doubling up the Ironmen 38-19 after three.

Jarrell simply dominated the Ironmen from start-to-finish, scoring four field goals in the first quarter while Kole Carter canned two free throws.

Jarrell scored six more in the second stanza on three field goals, while Carter added two more field goals and Evan Wiseman all five of his points, including the team’s only three-point goal.

The second half was a similar story, as Jarrell added four more field goals and three more made free throws, while also scoring the Blue Devils’ only fourth-period bucket.

He did sink 4-of-6 foul shots in the fourth, as Devin Henry with two fourth-quarter free throws — and one fourth-quarter freebie by Carter and Nate Copley — rounded out the Blue and White.

Josh Spires — on three field goals and 2-of-2 free throws — and Dakota Nichols — on four field goals — led Jackson with eight points apiece.

Donaldson drained the team’s only three on 16 total tries, and scored seven points as the Ironmen only made 14-of-48 from the field.

Baskets by Spohn and Neal were the Ironmen’s only first-quarter points, followed by Donaldson and Nichols’ field goals in the third.

Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342

By Paul Boggs