GALION — Galion’s boys basketball team was on their home court for the first time this season on Thursday night. The Upper Sandusky Rams were in town. Galion was unable to grab their second win of the season, losing 67-41. With the win, Upper improves to 3-0 on the season and Galion drops to 1-1.
Upper Sandusky won the opening tip, but this was not a case of a game being over from the beginning. Despite the intensity that the Rams brought in the opening period, Galion easily matched it by creating havoc on defense and overcoming the swarming defense that Upper is known for. The quarter ended with the Rams leading 14-11.
The second quarter was another story. Although the Tigers came out of the gate full throttle, they appeared to be slightly gassed in the second period. The Rams’ tightened their defense, Galion was forcing shots and Upper Sandusky won the second, 18-5, to take a 32-16 lead into halftime.
The third quarter was much the same. The Rams proved to be the faster, stronger and more experienced team on both ends of the court and outscored Galion 23-6. Down by a score of 55-22, the Tigers realized that they had an overwhelming uphill battle ahead of them. A second wind of sorts kicked in for the young Galion squad which, came a bit to late in the contest. The Tigers won the fourth quarter by a score of 19-12 but still came away with the loss.
“Nobody likes to lose. I told the guys to go out and win the fourth quarter and I was impressed with the effort that they showed at the end,” said Galion head coach Matt Valentine.
Gage Lackey was the leading scorer for the Tigers, hitting on 5/8 from the field and adding a point at the free throw line for 12 points. Colton Powell added eight points and Isaiah Alsip contributed six on the night.
The Tigers were bothered by the Upper Sandusky full-court press from the opening tip. The Rams defense didn’t let up from and as their fast feet and quicker hands caused Galion to turn the ball over 23 times for the contest, while Upper committed just nine turnovers.
“I was impressed with the way that we handled their full-court pressure, but once we got into the front court, we couldn’t seem to get the ball inside or get in to any offensive set to get the ball moving,” said Valentine. “The turnovers were definitely a huge part of the result tonight.”
Galion shot 11/28 from two-point range and 4/14 from beyond the arc. Upper Sandusky would finish the evening shooting 19/30 from the field and 8/24 from three.
Without senior leader Wes Vent, Jevon Dible and brother Noah stepped up as the apparent leaders for the Rams. Jevon led Upper in scoring with 27 points. Noah had 13.
“They were setting good screens and were always moving very fluidly without the ball. And we weren’t communicating. He got some wide open looks.” said Valentine lf Jevon Dible’s effort.
Galion will travel to Richwood on Saturday to open Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference Red Division play against the North Union Wildcats. The Wildcats are 2-0.
The Galion junior varsity team lost 56-23.