Galion rebounded from a conference loss the night before by defeating Upper Sandusky 52-43 Saturday in Tigertown.
The Tigers (7-8, 5-4) used a tenacious defense to limit the Rams (8-8, 5-4) to just 11 first-half points while tallying 26 of their own. The score was 15-6 at the end of the first period as Galion’s Ridge Durbin scored 8 points via a pair of three-point bombs and a buzzer-beating driving shot to end the quarter. Tony Kirk knocked down a trey and canned a pull-up jumper for 5 points.
Galion took the second frame, 11-5, to go into intermission up by 15 points.
By the end of the third stanza, the Orange-and-Blue’s cushion was 16 points, 38-22. The locals led by as many as 17 points in the fourth quarter, but committed several not-so-smart fouls in a span of four minutes that sent the visitors to the foul line time and time again, enabling them to cut the gap to five points, 47-42, with :52 to go.
Durbin iced things for the victors by going 4-for-4 on charity tosses in the final 37 seconds.
“Our defense was stellar in the first half,” third-year Galion head coach Ed Rich mentioned. “The intensity was not there in the second half though.”
Asked about his squad’s hack-happy approach in the fourth period, he shook his head and responded, “I’m not taking anything away from them (Rams), but we kept them in the game by fouling them. We’ve gotta play a lot smarter than that. A lot smarter.”
Upper was 10-for-13 at the foul stripe in a span of just over four minutes of the fourth.
Durbin had his second 16-points game in a row for the hosts. Kirk added 11, Jordan Valentine, 9; Houston Blair, 8; Gavin Ratcliff, 4; Lucas Bohach, 3; and Evan Huggins, 1.
Seth Frey netted a game-high 19 points for the losers.
Team statistics had Galion going 11-for-28 on two-pointers (39%), 6-o-f-19 on triples (32%), and 12-for-24 on foul shots (50%). They were out-rebounded 31-26 and turned the ball over just 8 times to Upper’s 17 cough-ups. The Rams made a mere 8-of-24 two-pointers (33%), 2-of-12 threes (17%) and found the mark on 19-of-27 freebies (70%).
Upper Sandusky won the junior varsity contest, 35-28. Brendan Pratt had 10 points for the junior Tigers, and Dominic Monk tallied 9.
In last Friday’s 63-51 conference loss to first-place Buckeye Central (14-1, 8-1) at the high school, the Tigers sleep-walked their way through the third quarter, and that was the difference.
The first-place Bucks outscored the locals 18-4 in the first 5:32 of the frame to break open what was a close game and take a 43-28 lead. Four of BC’s baskets were on fastbreak layups as the Orange-and-Blue were caught loafing on defense time more often than not.
Galion bounced back and played hard in the fourth stanza, but it was too little, too late.
“The third quarter killed us,” Rich matter-of-factly said. “It was a flashback to the Willard game. We know why we lost. They’re (Bucks) a darn good team, and we just couldn’t stop the ball. It is what it is.”
The NCC’s leading scorer — junior Austin Wurm of BC — scored a game-high 26 points via 5 two-pointers, a trio of threes and a 7-for-8 faring at the foul line. Teammate Cade Kaple added 13 tallies.
Ridge Durbin was the lone Tiger to reach double digits in scoring with 16 points. Also notching points for the Orange-and-Blue were: Houston Blair, 8; Kalvin Rinehart, 7; Evan Huggins and Tony Kirk, 6 each; Lucas Bohach, 4; plus Bryton Carpenter and Gavin Ratcliff, 2 apiece.
Team statistics had Galion going 18-for-37 on two-pointers (49%), just 2-for-11 on threes (18%) and 9-for-15 at the charity stripe (60%). They were out-rebounded 27-21, and turned the ball over 13 times to BC’s 12 misplays. The visitors were 17-of-31 from two-point range (55%), 4-for-11 behind the arc (36%) and 17-of-25 on freebies (68%).
The game was the first of 4 in 5 days for the Orange-and-Blue.
In the junior varsity match-up, Galion came out on top, 44-32. Colton Moore garnered a game-best 13 points for the locals.