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Hornets make clutch plays down the stretch to edge Gallipolis

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

COAL GROVE — There’s a lot of fight in the Coal Grove Hornets.
After being off the past two week after COVID testing, the Hornets returned to play the Gallipolis Blue Devils in an Ohio Valley Conference game on Wednesday.
The Hornets fought through the rust along with the Blue Devils’ 6-foot-7 center Isaac Clary as they made clutch plays down the stretch to preserve a 48-45 win.
Clary had 7 points as Gallipolis took an 11-8 lead.
But the Hornets used a pair of 3-pointers by Trevor Hankins and five different players scored as they rallied to take a 23-18 halftime lead.
Cooper Davis and Carson Call had 3-pointers in the quarter for Gallipolis (6-8, 4-7).
Tait Matney and Malachi Wheeler had 4 points each while Elijah Dillon and Braxton Horn hit a 3-pointers to help the Hornets extend their lead to 37-29.
But in the fourth quarter, Gallipolis got within 44-42 with 1:10 to play on a pair of foul shots by Kenyon Franklin, but Hankins was standing beyond the top of the key when he spotted Jarren Hicks breaking to the basket and threaded a pass to Hicks for a layup and a 46-42 lead.
Franklin made the second of two foul shots with 40 seconds to play but Hicks duplicated that with 34 seconds to go and it was 47-43.
Brody Fellure got a steal and fed Clary for a layup and it was 47-45 with 28 seconds left.
Hankins was fouled with 16 seconds to play and made the first of the double-bonus attempts.
Gallipolis got the rebound after the missed second shot but the Hornets’ defense pressured the Blue Devils who needed a 3-point goal and got off a shot before the buzzer that missed badly and Coal Grove grabbed the rebound as the horn sounded.
Matney scored 13 points and Hankins had 11 for the Hornets (6-5, 3-3). Clary scored 13 for the Blue Devils.
Neither team shot free throws well. Coal Grove was 11-of-21 and Gallipolis just 9-of-21.
Gallipolis 10 8 11 16 = 45
Coal Grove 8 15 14 11 = 48
GALLIPOLIS (6-8, 4-7): Cooper Davis 1 1 0-2 5, Kenyon Franklin 1 1 3-7 8, Brody Fellure 2 0 2-2 6, Drake Phillips 1 0 1-2 3, Trent Johnson 0 0 0-0 0, Wesley Saunders 1 0 1-1 3, Carson Call 1 1 2-5 7, Connor Walter 0 0 0-0 0, Isaac Clary 6 0 1-2 13. Totals: 12 3 9-21 45. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: None.
COAL GROVE (6-5, 3-3): Malachi Wheeler 3 0 1-2 7, Jarren Hicks 2 2-6 6, Trevor Hankins 1 2 3-4 11, Tait Matney 3 1 4-7 13, Hunter Staton 0 0 1-2 1, Elijah Dillon 0 1 0-0 3, Braxton Horn 1 1 0-0 5, Perry Kingery 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 11 5 11-21 48. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: None.