GLOUSTER, Ohio — In close games, free throws become that much more important.
The South Gallia girls basketball team sank 13-of-18 freebies Saturday night — including 7-of-8 during a pivotal 13-11 fourth quarter run — en route to a hard-fought 38-36 victory over host Trimble in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division matchup in Athens County.
Both the Lady Tomcats (3-14, 3-10 TVC Hocking) and visiting Lady Rebels (13-3, 10-3) were deadlocked throughout most of the contest, as each squad mustered only nine first half points. THS led 6-5 after eight minutes of play, but South Gallia countered with a 4-3 run in the second canto.
Both teams exploded for 16 points in the third stanza for a 25-all contest headed into the finale. The difference, however, came down the stretch, as the Lady Rebels shot 88 percent from the charity stripe to claim a narrow two-point decision.
Each squad went 1-for-2 at the line in the first half, but Trimble managed to make only half of its four attempts in the setback. SGHS, conversely, made 12-of-16 freebies after the break.
The Lady Rebels also claimed a season sweep of the Lady Tomcats after posting a 56-42 decision in the first matchup in Mercerville back on Dec. 29.
Chandra Canaday led SGHS with a game-high 14 points, followed by Ellie Bostic with 12 points and Rachel Johnson with eight markers. Lesley Small and Jasmyne Johnson rounded out the scoring with two points each.
Erica Swart paced Trimble with nine points, followed by Emily McKee with six points and Tia Altier with five markers.