MERCERVILLE, Ohio — It was a tale of two halves.
At the halfway mark of Tuesday night’s Tri-Valley Conference Hocking boys basketball game, South Gallia and Waterford were tied at 27.
The Wildcats, however, outscored the Rebels 26-17 after the intermission, and went on to a 53-44 victory in Gallia County.
South Gallia (1-9, 0-6 TVC Hocking) and Waterford (5-2, 5-1) were separated by six points at the end of the first quarter, as the Wildcats jumped to a 18-12 advantage. SGHS countered with a 15-9 second quarter surge that knotted things up headed into the break.
In the first half of play, the Rebels utilized a 10-0f-28 shooting performance from the field — which included going 4-of-8 from three-point range to tie the game at 27 at halftime. In contrast, Waterford shot 11-of-27 from the field and went just 1-of-7 beyond the three-point arc.
The Wildcats dominated the boards in the first half as they combined for 21 total rebounds, while the Rebels pulled down nine.
WHS pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring SGHS by an 11-4 count. Both teams shot poorly in the third frame, as the Wildcats shot 3-of-12 from the field while the Rebels mustered just 1-of-15 as a team.
Both teams remained scoreless in the second half, until South Gallia sophomore Austin Day ended the scoreless drought at the 5:39 mark as he sank two free throws to push the Rebels ahead at 29-27.
Austin Stapleton provided the only other points for South Gallia in the quarter, with a successful two-point attempt with 4:39 remaining in the third. The Wildcats completed the third quarter on an 11-0 run.
The Wildcats closed out the contest going 10-of-15 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
Despite the loss, the Rebels ended the game with two players finishing with double figures. Braxton Hardy and Curtis Haner each led South Gallia with 12 points, respectively.
The aforementioned Stapleton provided eight points, including two three-point field goals. Eli Ellis had five points. Austin Day and Jared Burdette rounded out the scoring for the Rebels with four points and three points, respectively.
Waterford’s Peyton Stephens led all scorers in the game as he finished with 14 points.
Stephens was joined in double figures by teammates Bryce Hilverding, who had 12 points, and Austin Pyatt with 10 points.
Travis Pottmeyer provided nine points in the victory. Russell Young chipped in with six points. Teddy Smith rounded out the scoring for the Wildcats with two points.
The Rebels next travel to Corning on Friday to face the Miller Falcons in TVC Hocking competition.
Scott Jones can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106.