GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — Thorough, from start to finish.
The Ohio Valley Christian boys basketball team never trailed and shot 53 percent from the field through three quarters of play Thursday night en route to a commanding 82-35 victory over visiting Hannan in a non-conference matchup in the Old French City.
The Defenders (6-10) jumped out to an early 4-0 edge, but the Wildcats (1-9) clawed their way back to even with a 4-0 run of their own — tying the contest at four with 3:28 remaining in the opening period.
OVCS never looked back from that point on, as the hosts went on an 18-4 tear over the final 3:14 — giving the Blue and Gold a comfortable 22-8 cushion after eight minutes of play.
Ohio Valley Christian followed with a 26-5 surge over a seven-plus minute span in the second canto, which allowed the hosts to increase their first lead to as much as 48-13 with 54 seconds left in the half.
HHS snapped a 4:57 scoreless spell with 39 seconds remaining, as Will Harbour netted a basket to pull the guests to within 48-15. Marshall Hood added a free throw just before the break, allowing OVCS to take a 49-15 edge into the intermission.
The Defenders connected on 20-of-39 field goal attempts in the first half for 51 percent and committed just five turnovers before the break. The hosts also owned a 22-10 lead in total rebounding, including a 9-1 edge on the offensive glass.
Hannan, conversely, made just 7-of-23 shot attempts before halftime for 30 percent. The guests also committed 19 turnovers in the opening 16 minutes of play.
HHS missed it first six shots and went just 1-of-14 from the field in the third quarter, allowing the hosts to go on a 21-5 surge while securing a 70-20 advantage headed into the finale.
OVCS claimed its largest lead of the night after Danny Ballantyne netted a basket with 5:38 left in regulation, giving the hosts a 56-point edge at 78-22. The Wildcats closed the final 5:24 of the contest with a 13-4 run to wrap up the 47-point outcome.
The Defenders made 34-of-71 shot attempts for 48 percent, which included a 4-of-8 effort from three-point range. The hosts committed 18 turnovers — nine came in the fourth quarter — and outrebounded the guests by a sizable 50-24 margin, including 18-8 on the offensive glass.
T.G. Miller led the victors with 18 points, followed by Elijah McDonald with 16 points and Marshall Hood with 14 markers. Phil Hollingshead also reached double figures with 11 points, despite missing most of the second half following a hard fall to the floor.
Evan Bowman and Austin Ragan were next with six points apiece, while Danny Ballantyne and Dillon Ragan respectively added five and four markers. Micah Sanders rounded out the winning tally with two points.
OVCS was 10-of-21 at the free throw line for 48 percent, while the guests netted just 3-of-9 charity tosses for 33 percent. Hannan also committed 25 turnovers and made just 15-of-57 shots for 26 percent, including a 2-of-19 effort from behind the arc for 11 percent.
Will Harbour paced the Wildcats with a game-high 19 points, followed by Tyler Burns with eight points and Josh McCoy with five markers. Corey Hudnall rounded out the HHS scoring with four points.