CENTENARY, Ohio — The win was worth waiting for, but the Lady Vikings were waiting.
The 15th-seeded Gallia Academy girls basketball team topped 18th-seeded Athens 47-37 in the Division II sectional semifinal — rescheduled four times throughout the week — on Friday in Gallia County, only to fall to the No. 2 seed Vinton County by a 61-20 tally in the championship game on Saturday in McArthur.
On Friday, the Blue Angels (7-10) took their first lead at 6-4, and after 6-6 tie, hit a two-pointer with 35 seconds left in the first quarter and never relinquished the advantage.
GAHS scored 11 of the first 13 points in the second period, but Athens (4-18) cut its deficit back to single digits, at 21-12, by halftime.
Gallia Academy started the second half with a 20-to-5 run, and led by a game-high 24 points with 59 seconds remaining in the third. The Lady Bulldogs got back to within single digits with 20 second left in the game, but ultimately fell 47-37.
GAHS made 15-of-40 (37.5 percent) field goal attempts, coming up empty on all-5 three-point tries. Meanwhile, AHS was 16-of-41 (39.0 percent) from the field, including 1-of-9 (11.1 percent) from deep. Gallia Academy made 17-of-29 (58.6 percent) foul shots, while Athens was 4-for-8 (50 percent) at the charity stripe.
The Lady Bulldogs won the rebounding battle by a 29-to-22 clip, including 8-to-6 on the offensive end, but AHS committed 28 turnovers, seven more than Gallia Academy.
The Blue Angels combined for 16 steals, five assists and four blocks, while the guests combined for 10 assists, seven steals and four rejections.
GAHS senior Maddy Petro led the winning cause with 22 points, eight rebounds, six steals, three rejections and two assists. Asia Griffin and Chanee Cremeens posted nine points each, Preslee Reed added three points, while Regan Wilcoxon and Koren Truance both scored two.
Leading Athens, Haylie Mills and Emily Zuber scored eight points apiece, with Mills grabbing a game-best 11 rebounds. Kianna Benton was next with seven points, followed by Bailey Cordray-Davis with six, M.J. Knapp with five, and Annika Benton with three. Harper Bennett claimed a team-best three assists, while Knapp picked up two steals.
At VCHS (21-1) on Saturday, the Blue Angels were held scoreless in the opening period, and trailed 19-0 eight minutes into play. The Lady Vikings led 37-9 at halftime, and 59-13 at the end of the third. GAHS scored seven of the final nine points and fell 61-20.
Eight of Gallia Academy’s nine field goals were from inside the arc, and GAHS made 1-of-4 (25 percent) foul shots. Vinton County sank 24 field goals, including seven three-pointers, while making 6-of-11 (54.5 percent) free throws.
Petro led the Blue Angels with nine points, followed by Hannah Ehman with four, and Wilcoxon with three. Cremeens and Reed tallied two each in the setback.
Myriah Davis led the Lady Vikings with 19 points, followed by Cameron Zinn with 15, and Teagan Bartoe with 13. Morgan Bentley contributed nine points to the winning cause, Lacie Williams added three, while Lydia Lenegar chipped in with two.
The Blue Angels wrap up their season at Portsmouth on Tuesday.
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Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.