MERCERVILLE, Ohio — Unfortunately, the best part of the Rebels’ night was simply getting to the finish line.
Visiting Federal Hocking forced 28 turnovers, shot 40 percent from the field and led wire-to-wire Tuesday night during a 65-42 victory over the South Gallia boys basketball team in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division matchup in Gallia County.
The Rebels (7-6, 4-4 TVC Hocking) were overwhelmed from the start, as the hosts committed at least six turnovers in each period while also trying to climb out of a 7-0 deficit just 90 seconds into regulation.
The Red and Gold were never closer than 9-4 following a Jaxxin Mabe basket with 4:27 left in the opening stanza, but the Lancers (10-2, 7-1) ended the first period with five unanswered points while building a 14-4 advantage.
Layne Ours converted an old-fashioned 3-point play 21 seconds into the second canto, cutting the deficit in half at 14-7.
FHHS, however, led by double digits the rest of the way as Ian Miller nailed a trifecta at the 7:29 mark, sparking an 8-0 run that led to a 22-7 edge with 6:01 remaining in the half.
SGHS managed to get the deficit down to 10 points on two different occasions, with the last coming at 26-16 with 1:28 left in the half. The Lancers closed the final 1:12 with a 7-2 surge to take a 33-18 cushion into the break.
The Maroon and Gold all but sealed the deal on things in the third period after scoring the first 14 points en route to a commanding 47-18 lead with 4:34 left. Both teams traded nine points apiece over the final 4:10, making it a 56-27 contest entering the finale.
Brandon Bond completed a 7-4 Fed Hock run with a basket at the 3:29 mark, giving the guests their largest lead of the game at 65-31. The Rebels ended the final three minutes of regulation with 11 unanswered points to wrap up the 23-point outcome.
The Lancers outrebounded the hosts by a slim 29-28 overall margin, but they also claimed a 12-7 edge on the offensive glass. FHHS also committed only 15 turnovers, a half-dozen of which came in the fourth period.
South Gallia made 16-of-44 field goal attempts for 36 percent, including a 3-of-10 effort from behind the arc for 30 percent. The hosts were also 7-of-9 at the free throw line for 78 percent.
Mabe paced the Rebels with 11 points and nine rebounds, followed by Brayden Hammond with eight points and Kyle Northup with six markers.
Ours and Jared Burdette were next with five points apiece, while Tristan Saber and Andrew Small completed the scoring with respective efforts of four and three points.
Saber and Hammond also grabbed six and five caroms for the Red and Gold, respectively.
The Lancers netted 26-of-65 shot attempts for 40 percent, including an 8-of-24 effort from 3-point territory for 33 percent. The guests also made 5-of-6 charity tosses for 83 percent.
Hunter Smith led FHHS with a game-high 18 points, followed by Elijah Lucas with 12 points and Miller with nine markers.
Nathaniel Massie was next with eight points, while Wes Carpenter and Quinton Basim respectively added six and five points.
Bond, Lane Smith and Colin Jarvis each contributed two points to the winning cause, with Adam Douglas completing the scoring with a single point.
Massie, Lucas and Brad Russell led the guests with six rebounds each.
South Gallia returns to action Friday when they travel to Racine for a TVC Hocking matchup with Southern at 7 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.