Last updated: February 08. 2014 8:10AM - 477 Views
JON KLEINKNECHT jkleinknecht@civitasmedia.com

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The red-hot Galion Tigers won for the sixth time in seven games Tuesday claiming a 51-37 decision over host Marion Harding in independent play.

The victory puts the Orange-and-Blue above the .500 mark for the first time this season at 9-8. Marion Harding has won just once in 17 outings. Seven of their 16 defeats have been by five points or less.

“I was actually pretty worried going in,” Galion head coach coach Ed Rich said. “They’ve lost a lot of close games. We took care of business though.”

Galion started slowly, finding itself down 12-7 at the end of the first period. The Orange-and-Blue took the second frame, 12-5, to go on top 19-17 by halftime. Quarters three and four belonged to the locals also, by scores of 19-8 and 13-12, respectively.

When it was mentioned his squad has won six of seven recently, Rich responded, “No doubt we’re playing good basketball, especially on defense.”

Individually for the winners, Ridge Durbin scored a game-high 18 points. Houston Blair added 10, Gavin Ratcliff, 7; Lucas Bohach, Tony Kirk and Jordan Valentine, 5 each; and Evan Huggins tacked on a free throw.

McComey was Harding’s leading scorer with 14 points.

Team statistics had the victors going 10-for-25 from two-point range (40%), 5-of-11 from behind the arc (45%) and 16-for-27 on foul shots (59%). They hauled in 28 rebounds (8 by Kirk) and turned the ball over just 9 times.

The Presidents were 13-for-29 on two (45%), only 1-of-11 on threes (9%) and 8-for-11 at the foul line (73%). They snagged 21 missed shots and committed 10 miscues.

Galion hits the court again Saturday evening at home versus North Central Conference foe Wynford.

In a NCC match-up Monday night in Crestline, the Orange-and-Blue upped their winning percentage to .500 for the first time this season by mauling the host Bulldogs, 63-42. The Tigers are 6-4 in the loop.

Galion used pressure defense on the hosts early forcing many turnovers that were instrumental in the winners having leads of 20-7 and 38-14 at the end of the first two periods, respectively. The Tigers began substituting liberally midway through the third quarter and took the third stanza, 18-14. The Bulldogs (3-13, 1-9) left most of their starters in the remainder of the game and claimed the final frame, 14-7.

“We pressed early,” Ed Rich, Galion’s third-year head coach said. “I wanted to get on them early, give our guys some minutes, and get them out.”

Sophomore guard Houston Blair was one of three Tigers to reach twin digits in scoring. He had 14 points, while Ridge Durbin and Tony Kirk garnered 10 apiece. Durbin also handed out 7 assists and picked the Bulldogs for 7 steals.

Also for the victors, Lucas Bohach, Evan Huggins and Kalvin Rinehart tallied 6 points each, Gavin Ratcliff had 4, and Brendan Pratt and Jordan Valentine tossed in 3 apiece.

Nate Coffman hit for a game-high 24 points for Crestline, 17 in the second half.

The Orange-and-Blue were a solid 24-for-36 on two-point shots (67%), just 3-of-16 on threes (19%) and 6-for-12 at the foul line (50%). The Blue-and-White converted only 9-of-29 twos (31%), were 4-of-9 behind the arc (44%) and a fine 12-for-14 on freebies (86%). The Tigers had a 28-21 rebounding edge and turned the ball over 15 times. The hosts committed 21 miscues.

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