Big Blacks rally past Blue Devils in OT


By Paul Boggs - [email protected]



Gallia Academy senior Miles Cornwell (2) drives in for a layup during the Blue Devils’ non-league boys basketball game against Point Pleasant on Friday night at Gallia Academy High School.


Paul Boggs/OVP Sports

CENTENARY, Ohio — Did Doug Workman ever prove the Gallia Academy student section — and for that matter most pundits — wrong or what?

Besieged by the constant chants of “you can’t make it”, Workman made more than his fair share of shots on Friday night.

As the Point Pleasant senior shooting guard poured in a massive 38 points, he and his fellow Big Blacks battled back from three eight-point deficits —and stunned the host Gallia Academy Blue Devils 66-64 in overtime in a thrilling non-league boys basketball tilt.

For the entire night, Workman nailed seven three-point goals as part of his dozen total — and sank 7-of-10 free throws, including 3-of-4 in the overtime session.

And, thanks to Workman —the game even went into an extra frame.

That’s because, with five seconds remaining in regulation, he worked his way off a screen for a wide-open three-point attempt —and calmly canned the shot to tie the score at 53-53.

Once in overtime, Workman wasn’t finished, scoring twice inside followed by making 3-of-4 free throws —as the Big Blacks never trailed in the extra four minutes.

Parker Rairden scored just 15 seconds into the extra period off a Cason Payne steal, then Payne sealed the victory by making 4-of-4 foul shots in the final 1:24 — including the last pair with 5.6 seconds left.

Justin McClelland made a three at the buzzer for the 66-64 final, but the Big Blacks began celebrating wildly — after originally crossing the Silver Memorial Bridge on Friday night as an overwhelming underdog in some observers’ eyes.

Point Pleasant, on Tuesday night, performed poorly in a 70-43 loss at Winfield.

It was the kind of triumph, according to PPHS head coach Josh Williams, that can turn around a season.

Both squads are now 1-1.

“We’ve been struggling, and we knew we would have our work cut out for us tonight. This is a quality win for us, especially after losing by almost 30 to Winfield,” he said. “We were eager to see just how much we had improved from one game to the next. Gallia Academy made it very difficult for us, but it’s a great win that gives our team some confidence.”

For the Blue Devils, it was a disappointing defeat, especially after GAHS had played excellent in its season opener at Meigs.

The Blue Devils scored the opening eight points, then led twice in the third period by eight —at 43-35 and 49-41.

In fact, Gallia Academy led 49-41 entering the fourth quarter, but nine consecutive points over the first four minutes and 41 seconds gave Point Pleasant its first lead since exactly 24 minutes earlier.

The Blue Devils’ only points in the final stanza came on four free throws —two by Evan Wiseman and one apiece by McClelland and Zach Loveday.

The Blue Devils doomed themselves by making only 16-of-26 foul shots, unable to clinch the contest in regulation.

“We’re disappointed because you hate to lose. I can’t blame the kids because they played hard,” said Gallia Academy coach Gary Harrison. “We let Workman get hot and he had a great game. We couldn’t stop him and we missed 10 free throws that could have changed the game. We have to make free throws. The first half, we played a 2-3 matchup zone. We had hands in his face, but he was just making them. You have to run a shooter off the line and in the first half, we just didn’t run him off the line.”

Workman got the Big Blacks on the board with an old-fashioned three-point play, then proceeded to pop five trifectas to erase the early 10-2 deficit — and even forge a 12-10 Point Pleasant lead.

There were three ties in the first period, with the two teams standing even at 20-20 after one.

Workman then tallied nine more markers in the second stanza, giving him a whopping 27 for the entire first half.

As a team, Point Pleasant had 33 points at the break — with two-point field goals from Rairden, Trace Derenberger and Will Harbour.

“Doug has worked hard, put in the time, and he just put us on his back and carried us,” said Williams. “There’s no plays called or anything, he just got hot, which he is capable of doing. He didn’t shoot the ball very well at Winfield, but he’s the type of kid that I keep telling has to believe the next shot is going down. We know it doesn’t take much to get him going. Once he gets rolling, he’s hard to stop.”

Workman’s other points came in the fourth frame — and were they ever crucial.

He made a free throw to lift the Big Blacks in front 50-49, before his dramatic triple-shot that sent the Point Pleasant faithful into a frenzy and tied the game at 53-53.

“It was a backscreen and we just didn’t switch on the screen,” said Harrison. “They just ran a backscreen and one of our post players just didn’t go out and switch it. Workman made the big shot for them and give him credit.”

Besides the 38 for Workman, Rairden reached double figures for Point Pleasant with 10 —on two twos and two threes.

Payne was a perfect 5-of-5 at the line towards seven points, while Harbour had two field goals and Matthew Martin made a key three in the third.

The Blue Devils drained eight three-pointers, including two apiece by McClelland and Wiseman, as Wiseman led the club with 15 points — followed by McClelland and Miles Cornwell with a dozen apiece.

All of Cornwell’s counters came on four threes, as Justin Peck — on five field goals and a free throw —added 11.

Cory Call chipped in three field goals and 2-of-2 freebies for eight points, while the six-foot, 11-inch Loveday drilled 6-of-11 free throws — but was held without a basket.

Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106

Gallia Academy senior Miles Cornwell (2) drives in for a layup during the Blue Devils’ non-league boys basketball game against Point Pleasant on Friday night at Gallia Academy High School.
http://mydailysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/web1_12.9-GA-Cornwell-1.jpgGallia Academy senior Miles Cornwell (2) drives in for a layup during the Blue Devils’ non-league boys basketball game against Point Pleasant on Friday night at Gallia Academy High School. Paul Boggs/OVP Sports

By Paul Boggs

[email protected]

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