GALION — The Buckeye Valley Barons were in town on a frigid Friday night to meet up with the Galion Tigers for a Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference Red Division battle. For the second time this season, the Barons bested the Tigers, this time by a final score of 62-41.
With the loss, Galion drops to 2-13 overall and 1-7 within the conference. Buckeye Valley is 5-9 and 4-4.
Galion won the opening tip and got a quick basket from Colten Skaggs, but that was the last lead the Tigers held. Buckeye Valley’s pressure on defense and quick ball movement and scoring caused Galion head coach Matt Valentine to use two quick timeouts in the first quarter. The first coming after the Barons opened up an early 8-2 lead and the other coming just moments after Buckeye Valley expanded that lead to 16-2. At the end of the first, Galion found itself in a hole they could never dig out of, 23-4. The Tigers would string together some buckets throughout the second quarter and were able to keep pace with the Barons a bit, but still headed to the half down by a score of 36-17.
“We seemed to be just going through the motions from the start of warm-ups,” Valentine said. “Our energy level just wasn’t there. We weren’t able to defend and keep up with them while on defense. Zhamir (Anderson) was a spark for us with his energy and quickness, his ability to defend. But the rest of the team, for whatever reason, just didn’t have it. They continuously beat us on the glass on both ends of the floor”
The Tigers would open up the second half with a bit more energy but would not be able to fully contain the Buckeye Valley offense. Galion outscored the Barons in the third, 16-14, but the lead was still 50-33 in favor of the visitors. The final quarter aw little scoring on either end of the court, with the Barons adding 12 more points and the Tigers just eight.
Anderson finished with nine points off the bench to go with three rebounds, two steals, two assists and a block. Gage Lackey chimed in with seven points on the night for the Tigers. Isaiah Alsip, Jack McElligott and Colten Skaggs all finished with six points apiece in the Galion loss. Chase Cooke added five points and Nic Sorrenson rounded out the Tigers’ scoring with two points from the free-throw line.
Leading the way for the Barons was Nathan Edington with 17 points, including an exciting fast-break dunk with under two minutes remaining in the third quarter. Aaron Watson had 13 points for Buckeye Valley. Ethan Crawford and Austin Richard dropped in 1o points apiece on the night.
Galion shot just 14/49 (29%) from the field, including just 3/14 from three-point range while Buckeye Valley went 25/57 (44%) and just 4/14 from the perimeter. The Barons also had the slight edge from the free-throw line at 8/14 to Galion’s 10/18. Neither team took care of the ball particularly well with the Tigers committing 17 turnovers and the Barons with 16. The real difference maker was the rebounding in the game. Buckeye Valley outrebounded Galion 43-25, with 18 of the Barons’ rebounds occurring on the offensive glass. The Tigers would finish out their team’s stat line with eight steals, seven assists and four blocks for the contest.
Galion is at Buckeye Central Bucks Saturday. The Tigers will then be back in league play on Thursday Feb. 2 when they travel to Caledonia to meet up with the River Valley Vikings. The Vikings will look to avenge their loss to Galion from early in the season.