Orange-and-Blue win 2 in a row
By JON KLEINKNECHT
Inquirer Sports Editor
Maybe they’ve turned the corner.
The Galion Tigers upset the visiting River Valley Vikings 56–53 Tuesday night in a non-conference boys’ varsity hoops battle.
The win is the second in a row for the Orange-and-Blue who are 6–9. The Division II Vikings descend to 11–5.
“I’m pleased. I’ll take it,
stated a smiling Ed Rich, head coach of the Tigers. “It was a good win over a bigger school.”
River Valley scored the first five points of the second quarter to go up 17–10. The final five minutes of the frame the Orange-and-Blue dominated, outscoring the visitors 17–2 with Ridge Durbin tallying 8 of the points via a couple of NBA-range 3-pointers and a 15-foot jumper.
The Vikings took the third stanza 14–11, trimming Galion’s advantage to five points — 38–33 — entering the last eight minutes.
Durbin netted 11 tallies in the final quarter — including back-to-back 3-pointers. The locals made 7-of-9 free throws in the last 1:15 to stave off the Vikings.
“We’ve been hitting our free throws,” said Rich. Going into the last two games, the Tigers were the worst charity tosses shooting team in the North Central Conference at 50 percent. Against River Valley they were 16-for-24. In an overtime triumph at Riverdale last Saturday, they made 17-of-25.
Galion was 17-for-31 from the floor on Tuesday, including 6-for-12 from behind the arc. The visitors attempted 20 more shots, making 20 2-pointers and a quartet of treys.
The taller, bigger Vikings out-rebounded the hosts 35–19. The Orange-and-Blue committed a dozen turnovers and River Valley, 11.
Durbin was the game’s top scorer with 21 points after being shutout the first 11:23. Austin Chaplin added 10 points, Tony Kirk, 8; Austin Prosser, 7; to go with 5 each from Lucas Bohach and Stephen Noggle.
Kyle Mathey’s 20 markers led the visitors.
Galion’s junior varsity squad out-scored a River Valley team that has lost just twice this winter by a 40–28 count. Gavin Ratcliff tickled the twine for 13 points and Jordan Valentine added 11 for the winners.
At Mount Blanchard last Saturday, Austin Chaplin hit a reverse layup at the buzzer in overtime propelling the Orange-and-Blue to a thrilling 64–63 triumph over host Riverdale (3–10).
Riverdale had a 63–62 lead with 7.8 seconds remaining in overtime. A Falcon missed two free throws, with Galion’s Tony Kirk grabbing a rebound on the second miss. Upcourt, Spencer Frizzell made a fine pass to Chaplin who hit the game-winner.
“We were down seven points with a little more than a minute to go (in regulation),” said Galion head coach Ed Rich. “Austin Prosser hit some free throws for us. I hope this is a turning point for us. It wasn’t just a win, it was an emotional win.”
Galion’s pressure defense caused the hosts problems from the beginning. The Tigers jumped out to a quick 9–0 lead and had a 21–13 advantage going into the second quarter. Riverdale took the second frame 14–9, trimming the Tigers’ lead to just three points — 30–27 — at halftime.
The foes played to a 12–12 stalemate in the third stanza, and Riverdale claimed the fourth period 18–15 to push the game into OT.
Prosser had a great game. Not only did he score a team-high 19 points, the senior also racked up 8 steals, snagged 6 rebounds and dealt out 6 assists.
Also for the winners, Chaplin netted 17 points, Ridge Durbin and Kirk, 9 apiece; Marcus Blair, 4; Frizzell, 3; Lucas Bohach, 2; and Stephen Noggle, 1. Kirk added 7 rebounds.
Lee Holderman popped in a game-high 22 points for the Falcons.
Team statistics showed Galion going 22-for-51 from the field (43 percent), 17-for-25 on foul shots (68 percent), hauling in 29 rebounds and turning the ball over 10 times. Riverdale was 17-for-38 on action shots (45 percent), 21-of-30 on freebies (70 percent), snared 31 missed shots and coughed the ball up 20 times.
The junior varsity Tigers scored a 50–37 victory. Freshman Colton Moore tallied a game-high 17 points for the victors.