Prep girls basketball: Warriors defeat Gallia

VINCENT – It took just 2 minutes and 29 seconds for the game of basketball to get completely and totally away from the Gallia Academy Blue Angels.

And the Lady Warriors wasted not one second of that time.

Warren opened the second half on a 12-0 run and outscored Gallia Academy 19-3 in the third quarter to turn a two-point ballgame at the break into a comfortable 59-36 win at Warren High School Saturday evening.

“It was a major struggle. We didn’t play very well, but it’s a ‘W,'” said Warren girls’ basketball coach Amy Colgrove.

For the first two periods of play the Blue Angels were everything the Lady Warriors wanted and then some.

But when it mattered down the stretch, Gallia Academy simply couldn’t find the answer to the Lady Warriors second half run.

“We’re a second half team,” noted Warren senior Mackenzie Ullman, who recorded 12 points and 10 rebounds.

The Lady Warriors certainly needed the strong second half, because the first two quarters saw Gallia Academy stay within striking distance as Warren never led by more than eight points.

Though the Blue Angels never led in the game, Gallia Academy shot 11 percent better from the field in the first half to trail by just two, 22-20, at the break.

“We’re just playing well for two quarters and then the third quarter we just can’t get it going again,” lamented Gallia Academy girls’ basketball coach Renee Barnes. “Warren’s a really good ball team and we stayed with them for two quarters.”

Gallia Academy did more than stay with the Lady Warriors for those first two quarters. Take away Warren senior Jordanna Rauch’s 4-for-6 effort from beyond the arc in the first quarter and Warren would’ve been trailing 20-10 instead of leading 22-20.

Rauch, who hit her first four shots from the field, finished with a game high 18 points, all off three-pointers.

Rauch’s three off an assist from Josey Riffle with 4:19 to play in the second quarter proved to be the last bucket Warren would hit in the first half, and the Blue Angels nearly rallied from the seven point deficit.

A 1-of-2 effort at the free throw line by Micah Curfman sparked Gallia on a 6-0 run to close out the half, with Kendra Barnes hitting a three and Halle Barnes scoring in the paint with 26 seconds left to make the score 22-20.

Gallia had a chance to tie the game at the break as senior guard Abby Wiseman was fouled on a shot as time expired, but she missed both free throws to send the teams to the locker room in a two-point game.

From there, it was all about the Lady Warriors.

“We just started playing focused. We started playing with a little bit of intensity for the first three or four minutes,” Colgrove said.

Ullman got the scoring started in the second half with a deuce in the paint, and then followed that with a putback basket for a 26-20 advantage. Rauch then hit a three off an assist from Emma Ryan, prompting a timeout from the Blue Angels.

Trying to rally the troops, the Blue Angels couldn’t get the offense going as they would go nearly five minutes before hitting their first field goal of the second half, going 1-for-9 from the field in the third quarter.

Conversely, the Lady Warriors were 8-for-16 in the stanza. “We had more momentum going into the third quarter,” Rauch said.

The lead hit double figures for the first time on Ryan’s basket in the paint with 5:31 on the clock, and it continued to grow as the Warren bench stepped on the court to offset foul trouble for the Lady Warrior starters.

Warren got 18 points off the bench, with Taylor Foy and Audrey Bowe accounting for eight and six respectively. After Ullman and Rauch, no other Warren player tallied more than eight points.

“When Foy and Audrey came in it really changed the game. They really helped us out,” Rauch said.

The margin was 18 points after three quarters of play on Riffle’s bucket with seven seconds left in the stanza.

Warren grew the lead to its biggest margin of 29 on Kendra Lynch’s bucket with 5:50 to play in regulation.

Down but not out, Gallia Academy would outscore Warren 12-4 over the next 4:08, but would get no closer than 22 on Jordan Walker’s putback basket with 42 seconds in regulation.

Warren improved to 6-6 on the season while Gallia fell to 4-9. “We needed the win,” Ullman said.