CENTENARY, Ohio — The halftime break did the hosts no favors.
The Gallia Academy boys basketball team led non-conference guest Athens by two points at the midway point of Friday’s season-opening contest in Gallia County, but the visiting Bulldogs were ahead by double digits by the end of the third quarter and wound up with a 64-55 victory.
The Blue Devils (0-1) connected on five field goals in the opening period and trailed 18-11 eight minutes into play.
Gallia Academy surged for 20 points on the strength of seven field goals in the second quarter, making a trio of three pointers. The Bulldogs (1-0) tallied 11 points in the second and headed into the break trailing 31-29.
Athens went on a 22-to-10 run in the third period, however, taking the 51-41 lead into the finale.
GAHS came up with 15 points in the fourth quarter, but Athens hit 9-of-15 free throws and scored 13 points in the canto, sealing the 64-55 win.
Logan Blouir led the Blue Devil offense with 16 points, including 12 from long range. Isaac Clary was next with 10 points, followed by Damon Cremeens with nine. Ben Cox and Cooper Davis scored seven points apiece in the setback, while Reece Thomas and Justin Wilcoxon each came up with three.
Leading the Bulldogs, Brayden Whiting scored 16 points and Brayden Markins had 12. Nate Trainer and Will Malters had 10 points apiece for AHS, Isaiah Butcher was next with eight points, followed by Andrew Stephens with seven and Reece Wallace with two.
For the game, Athens made 15-of-21 (71.4 percent) free throws, while GAHS was 8-of-9 (88.9 percent) from the line.
Next for the Blue Devils, the Ohio Valley Conference opener at home against Ironton on Dec. 10.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.