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Hornets battle past Blue Devils, 51-49

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

GALLIPOLIS — Someone was going to stay in second place with a chance to win the Ohio Valley Conference title, and someone else was going to fall into third place and watch their title hopes dwindle.
That someone turned out to be the Coal Grove Hornets who beat the Gallipolis Blue Devils who turned out to be someone else.
On a last-second shot by Cory Borders, the Hornets edged the Blue Devils 51-49 on Tuesday.
Aaron Music and Borders scored 15 points each while Payten Smith added 10 points as the Hornets improved to 12-5 overall and 7-3 in the OVC.
Justin McClelland and Cory Call scored 17 points each as Gallipolis fell to 8-6 and 6-4.
Coal Grove took an 18-11 first quarter lead as Borders found his shooting eye for three 3-pointers and Music also hit a triple as he scored five points.
McClelland had five points including a 3-pointer.
The Hornets offense began to turn cold like the weather outside as they scored only four points in the second quarter on two baskets by Smith.
McCelland hit another 3-pointer and scored five more points and Call had a trey as the Blue Devils tied the game 22-all at the half.
Coal Grove regained its offensive rhythm in the third quarter by taking a 38-33 lead as Music hit a 3-pointer and scored five points, Jaylen McKenzie had two baskets, Borders got four points including two foul shots and Nate Harmon converted a three-point play.
McClelland had four points and Call hit a trifecta to keep the Blue Devils close.
Gallipolis rallied in the fourth quarter to tie the game with 20 seconds left as Call scored nine points.
McClelland hit a 3-pointer that gave the Blue Devils a 45-44 lead — their first lead since the first quarter.
Music hit the front end of a one-and-one with 2:42 left and he hit two free throws with 2:18 on the clock and it was 47-47.
Music then came up with a steal and made two more foul shots for a 49-47 lead with 1:30 to play.
Call took a pass going down the lane for a layup to tie the game, but Borders went left and hit a scoop layup with 2.3 seconds left to take a 51-49 lead.
The Blue Devils then launched a halfcourt shot that hit off the backboard just above the rim but bounced off as the buzzer sounded.
On Friday, Coal Grove is at Rock Hill and Gallipolis visits South Point.
Coal Grove 18 4 16 13 = 51
Gallipolis 11 11 11 16 = 49
COAL GROVE (12-5, 7-3): Aaron Music 2 2 5-6 15, Cory Borders 2 3 2-3 15, Evan Gannon 1 0 0-0 2, Evan Holmes 0 0 0-0 0, Nate Harmon 1 0 1-3 3, Jaylen McKenzie 3 0 0-1 6, Payten Smith 3 0 4-4 10. Totals: 12 5 12-17 51. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None.
GALLIPOLIS (8-6, 6-4): Cole Davis 0 0 0-0 0, Caleb Henry 0 0 0-0 0, Justin McClelland 3 3 2-2 17, Blaine Carter 3 0 0-0 6, Cooper Davis 0 0 0-0 0, Cory Call 5 2 1-2 17, Ben Cox 0 0 3-6 3, Justin Wilcoxon 0 0 0-0 0, Bailey Walker 3 0 0-0 6. Totals: 14 5 6-10 49. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: None.