MERCERVILLE, Ohio — Regulation wasn’t enough.
The South Gallia boys basketball team forced overtime on its home court Saturday night, but Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division guest Belpre pulled out the 58-53 victory.
Each team hit five field goals in the opening period, with the Golden Eagles (5-6, 3-2 TVC Hocking) ahead 12-11 eight minutes into play.
Belpre scored nine of the first 15 points in the second period, but South Gallia (6-3, 1-2) closed the half with a 9-to-2 run — featuring and-1 plays by Jaxxin Mabe and Brayden Hammond — and headed into halftime on top 26-23.
The guests started the second half with a 13-to-2 run, and led 36-28 with 3:52 left in the third quarter. However, SGHS went on an 11-to-3 spurt over the remainder of the stanza, tying it at 39 on a Tristan Saber two-pointer with two seconds left.
South Gallia scored six of the first eight points in the fourth quarter, but was held off the board for over four minutes, as Belpre tallied eight straight and led 49-45 with 55 seconds left in regulation.
Blaik Saunders hit back-to-back free throws with 34 seconds to play, bringing the hosts within two, and then Mabe made a two-pointer with five seconds to go, tying the game at 49 and forcing overtime.
Mabe made the opening bucket of the extra session, but Belpre scored seven points in a row, forcing turnovers on three straight possessions. Mabe made it a one-possession game again with 18 seconds left, but BHS made 2-of-4 free throws over the remainder, sealing the 58-53 overtime victory.
Each team made 20 two-pointers in the contest, with Belpre earning a 4-to-2 advantage in three-point field goals. The hosts were 7-of-12 (58.3 percent) at the free throw line, while BHS made 6-of-15 (40 percent) foul shots.
Leading South Gallia, Mabe finished with 18 points, while Hammond ended with 17. Saber contributed eight points to the Rebel cause, Saunders added seven, while Ean Combs chipped in with three.
Evan Wells led Belpre with 13 points, followed by Conner Baker with 11 and Dylan Cox with 10. Ashton Yeater and Tyce Church scored eight each for the guests, while Jordan Harrington and Brady Shriver tallied four apiece.
SGHS will have its shot at revenge when the Rebels invade Belpre on Feb. 2.
Next, South Gallia visits River Valley on Tuesday.
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Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.