The McClain Tigers basketball team (5-17) traveled to Southeastern High School on Monday evening to take on the Gallia Academy Blue Devils. The Blue Devils had the lead for all two minutes and 50 seconds in the first quarter until Matt Barton hit a three pointer to put his team ahead. The Tigers never looked back and went home with a 46-27 victory.
The game started very slow for both teams. Both the Tigers and the Blue Devils were playing hard-nosed defense and the first actual shot in the game didn’t take place until the 6:20 mark. Gallia Academy was the first to strike at the 4:38 mark with a two pointer and, as mentioned before, the held that two point lead for almost three minutes until Matt Barton of Greenfield hit a three pointer to give his team the lead 3-2. McClain score six more points in the remaining time whilst holding their opponent to just one more basket. At the end of one, it was McClain up 9-4.
The second quarter started off slow offensively again but the Tigers were able to strike first as Jacob Starkey made one right under the basket. The Blue Devils were able to answer on their next possession but McClain went on a small 6-0 run, all from sophomore Zack Peck. The two teams traded baskets before halftime and at the buzzer, it was 19-8 McClain.
In the third quarter, the Blue Devils tried to make it more of a game, almost doubling their first half total with 14 points in the quarter. But the McClain Tigers were able to hold on and even add to their lead, scoring 15 points themselves. Randall Mischall scored 10 of those points, his total for the night, six of them coming from the free throw line.
The Blue Devils started the fourth frame going to the line twice, where they made one of three attempts, and scoring a layup, but McClain fired back with four points of their own to make it up. Gallia was able to score one more time with 1:41 to go to bring their quarter total to five points, but in the remaining time, McClain went on a 8-0 run, six of those from the charity stripe, to take home the 46-27 victory.
“When [Gallia] is rolling, [Wes] Jerrell has 25 points plus, so we kind of just packed in our zone,” said Tigers Head Coach Jesse Mitchell said after the win. “We did a good job of finding shooters. [Gallia] missed some open shots and we got the rebounds. We tried to push the ball some but didn’t do a very good job of running our lanes, so we have to work on that.
“I’m just happy for the kids. It’s been a while since we’ve won one. We didn’t shoot the ball incredibly well tonight but were able to knock down some free throws. Just credit the kids. When you only have four wins, these guys haven’t quit fighting. They’re excited to embrace the challenge that is Unioto on Wednesday. They beat us by 30 at our place so we’ll see what we can come out and do on Wednesday.”
MHS – 9 10 15 12 – 46
GAHS – 4 4 14 5 – 27
McClain: Barton (2) 5/6 – 11; Mischall 2 6/8 – 10; Peck 2 5/6 – 9; Starkey 3 1/2 – 7; Hardesty 2 0/1 – 4; O’Conner 2/2 – 2; Brock 1 – 2; Landree 1/2 – 1. Totals: 10(2) 20/27 – 46.
Gallia Academy: Cornwell 1(2) 1/1 – 9; Jarrell 4 0/1 – 8; Carter 2 1/2 – 5; Wiseman 1 0/2 – 2; Henry 1 – 2; VanSickle 1/2 – 1. Totals: 9(2) 3/8 – 27.
Reach Robert Stegbauer at 937-393-3456 ext. 1679 or on Twitter @RStegbauer.