GALION — After playing in an overtime thriller at River Valley on Thursday evening, the Galion Tigers boys basketball team returned to their home floor on Saturday to face-off against the visiting Harding Presidents.
When the buzzer rang out to end the contest, it would be Harding earning their first win of the season as they defeated Galion by a final tally of 50-45. With the loss, the Tigers fall to 2-3 overall on the season and now sit at 1-2 within the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference. The Presidents move to 1-3 on the season with the win and are 1-2 in league play.
Harding would get on the scoreboard first in the relatively sluggish first quarter as the two squads attempted to figure out each other on both ends of the floor. After the opening eight minutes of play, the visitors would carry a 15-7 lead into the second quarter. The scoring stayed low in the second frame and the Presidents would maintain the lead heading into the locker room at the half; 24-17.
Galion came out in the third quarter rejuvenated as they tallied a dozen points while holding their guests to just six points to progress into the fourth trailing by just a single point; 30-29. In that fourth quarter, the pace would quicken and the play would get progressively more “chippy” as fouls began to rack up on both sides of the scoreboard. The Tigers would continue to push and took their first lead of the game with 7:22 remaining on Jack McElligott’s put-back after an offensive rebound, putting the home team up 32-30 after the converted “and one” free throw. In the final five-plus minutes of the contest, the teams would trade the lead back and forth while also exchanging timeouts in attempt to slow the momentum of their opposition. Turnovers would get the best of the Tigers and the Presidents did a stellar job of converting the miscues into points en route to the five-point victory.
Freshman Carter Valentine would lead Galion in scoring on the evening, pouring in 14 points to go along with two rebounds, three steals and a blocked shot while being the only Tiger in double figures.
As a team, Galion shot 14/42 from the field and 15/21 at the charity stripe. The home team pulled in a total of 32 rebounds (10 offensive, 22 defensive) while recording 11 steals, eight assists and seven blocks despite committing 24 turnovers. At halftime, the Tigers had just six miscues handling the ball.
Other statistics for the white, blue and orange Saturday were: Isaiah Alsip- 8 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks; McElligott- 8 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal; Gage Lackey- 7 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals, 1 assist; Tristan Williams- 6 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks and Hanif Donaldson- 2 points, 1 rebound.
Zhamir Anderson, now playing for Harding, scored 10 points while grabbing four rebounds, swiping three steals and blocking a shot against his former teammates.
Up next for the Tigers will be a trip to Bellville and a clash with the Clear Fork Colts on Wednesday, December 19. On Saturday, the Galion squad will square-off against the Madison Rams in the 419 Basketball Challenge.
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