IRONTON, Ohio — Making the most of a major opportunity.
The Gallia Academy girls basketball team rallied back from an 8-point first quarter deficit and eventually scored the only points of overtime Monday night during a thrilling 35-32 victory over host Ironton in the Ohio Valley Conference opener for both programs.
The visiting Blue Angels (1-0, 1-0 OVC) found themselves in an early 11-3 hole through eight minutes of play, even though the Lady Tigers (0-2, 0-1) were playing without three starters due to injury.
The Blue and White, however, started their epic comeback bid in the second frame as Maddy Petro netted five points during a 10-7 run that allowed the guests to close to within 18-13 at the intermission.
Petro followed with eight points in the third stanza as the Blue Angels made another 10-7 push to whittle the lead down to 25-23.
GAHS received four points from Regan Wilcoxon as part of a 9-7 run down the stretch, which tied the game at 32-all at the end of regulation.
Chanee Cremeens produced her only points of the night with a basket in the extra 4-minute session, then Asia Griffin netted 1-of-2 free throws to complete the 3-0 Gallia Academy run in overtime while wrapping up the 1-possession triumph.
It was also the first-ever win for the Blue Angels over Ironton as members of the Ohio Valley Conference.
Gallia Academy made 13 total field goals — including a single trifecta — and also went 8-of-16 at the free throw line for 50 percent.
Petro led the guests with 16 points, followed by Griffin with five markers. Wilcoxon, Preslee Reed and Emma Hammons each added four points, while Cremeens completed the tally with two markers.
IHS netted nine total field goals — including three 3-pointers — and went 11-of-21 at the charity stripe for 52 percent.
Evan Williams paced Ironton with a game-high 17 points, followed by Isabel Morgan with seven points and Mary Lackey with four markers. Kameren Arden and Chasity Cecil completed the scoring with respective efforts of three points and one point.
Gallia Academy returns to OVC action on Thursday when it travels to Coal Grove for a 7 p.m. tipoff.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.