CENTENARY, Ohio — A tough one to digest.
Visiting Ironton erased a 16-point halftime deficit to force overtime, then Landon Wilson converted the second of two free throw attempts with 2.8 seconds left to complete a come-from-behind 50-49 Ohio Valley Conference victory over the Gallia Academy boys basketball team on Saturday night in Gallia County.
The Blue Devils (6-7, 4-6 OVC) stormed out to a quick 10-2 edge and built a 13-4 edge through eight minutes of play, then received five points apiece from Kenyon Franklin and Brody Fellure during a 14-7 second quarter surge that saw the hosts secure a 27-11 advantage headed into the break.
The Fighting Tigers (5-5, 5-5), however, started the comeback climb in the third frame as Aaron Masters netted 10 points as part of a 17-9 run that cut the deficit down to 36-28 headed into the finale.
Isaac Clary — who scored seven points in the opening frame — converted a basket at the 4:20 mark of the fourth to maintain a 3-possession lead of 40-32, but IHS countered with an 8-2 charge that closed the gap down to 42-40.
Clary converted two free throws with 1:05 left in regulation for a 4-point lead, but a Caleb Huppe bucket on a designed inbounds play capped a quick 4-0 Ironton run and knotted the game up at 44-all with 40 seconds remaining in regulation. The score also remained that way as both teams entered the overtime session.
Both teams held a lead in the final four minutes of play, and the game was tied at 49-all following a Fellure basket with 19 seconds remaining.
Coming out of a timeout after missing the first attempt, Wilson sank the second charity toss and gave Ironton a 50-49 lead by completing a 6-5 overtime run.
GAHS inbounded the ball to Cooper Davis after the make, who then dribbled to mid-floor and let a mid-court heave fly just before the buzzer sounded. The shot hit the front and right side of the iron before bouncing away — giving the Orange and Black the 1-point outcome.
The Blue Devils had a 3-game winning streak snapped, a streak that started eight days earlier with a 51-46 decision at IHS.
The Blue and White outrebounded the guests by a 28-24 overall margin, with both teams hauling in seven offensive boards. Gallia Academy also committed 15 of the 22 turnovers in the game.
GAHS made 17-of-37 field goal attempts for 46 percent, including a 2-of-8 effort from behind the arc for 25 percent. The hosts were also 13-of-20 at the free throw liine for 65 percent.
Clary led the Blue Devils with a double-double effort of 20 points and 14 rebounds — both game-highs — before fouling out in the extra session. Carson Call was next with 11 points, followed by Franklin and Fellure with seven markers each.
Davis and Drake Phillips completed the scoring with two points apiece. Davis also dished out a team-high five assists in the setback.
Ironton was 16-of-43 from the floor for 37 percent, including a 4-of-12 effort from 3-point range for 33 percent. The guests also sank 14-of-25 charity tosses for 56 percent.
Wilson paced IHS with 17 points and Masters was next with 12 points, followed by Erickson Barnes and Hupper with respective efforts of six and five markers.
Blake Porter and Jaxon Vance contributed four points apiece, while Will York wrapped up the winning total with two points.
Gallia Academy returns to action Wednesday when it travels to Coal Grove for an OVC contest at 7 p.m.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.