PORTSMOUTH, Ohio — As a theme of this season, Gallia Academy has come out of the gate strong.
It’s just the other three quarters that give the Blue Devils fits.
“We were solid defensively (in the first quarter and) we made them play defense,” Gallia Academy coach Tom Moore said after his team’s 77-36 setback to host Portsmouth in an SEOAL boys contest Friday night. “What you’ve seen tonight, it’s been a broken record.”
Those skips in said record are in reference to the 27 turnovers his team committed. Among the 27 setbacks, 19 of them came in the second and third quarters.
“Their pressure was good,” Moore said. “… A lot of times, they wouldn’t let us get into our sets.”
Those miscues aided the Trojans (8-2, 3-1) into 50 points in the middle two frames.
“To put 50 points in those two quarters is huge for us,” Portsmouth coach Gene Collins said.
The Trojans had 11 players crack the scoring column on the evening as seniors Wayne Evans and Dion McKinley led the way with 16 each and McKinley capped the night off with a double-double as he pulled down 10 rebounds.
Jaylen Carter was the last of the Portsmouth players as he finished with 11.
Justin Bailey paced the Blue Devils (3-8, 1-3), who only trailed 9-8 after the first quarter, with 13 points. Ever since Bryce Amos—who was leading the team in scoring with under 20 points an outing—tore his ACL in the last practice before the Jackson game, Bailey has been one of the few bright spots for Moore’s group.
“He’s just a really tough kid,” Moore said in reference to Bailey.
Nick Saunders added seven points in a losing effort.
With Ironton and the Trojans out of its way, the schedule does not get any easier for Gallia Academy. The Blue Devils will return to action Friday against Chillicothe and then will take on Warren.
The next two opponents for Gallia Academy made headlines Friday night as the Cavaliers handed the Warriors their first loss of the season, a 65-56 decision that puts the two and Portsmouth in a three-way tie atop the SEOAL.
“Which dagger do you want to get shot with next,” Moore said.
Cody Leist is a sports writer for the Portsmouth Daily Times in Portsmouth, Ohio.
Portsmouth 77, Gallia Academy 36
GA8-9-12-7 — 36
P9-20-30-18 — 77
GALLIA ACADEMY (3-8, 1-3 SEOAL): Eastman 1-2-5, Allison 1-0-3, Johnston 2-0-4, Bailey 6-1-13, Saunders 3-0-7, Clagg 2-0-4. TOTALS: 15-3-36. Three-point goals: 3 (Eastman, Allison, Saunders).
PORTSMOUTH (8-2, 3-1 SEOAL): Adams 2-0-4, Jordan 1-0-3, Edwards 2-0-5, Whitley 3-0-7, Bratchett 1-0-2, Violette 3-2-8, Carter 4-0-11, Collins 1-0-3, Evans 7-1-16, McKinley 8-0-16, Grubbs 1-0-2. TOTALS: 33-3-77. Three-point goals: 8 (Carter 3, Jordan, Edwards, Whitley, Collins, Evans).