South Gallia overtakes Waterford, 56-54

RON JOHNSTON The Marietta Times Waterford’s Holden Dailey takes it to the rim against multiple South Gallia defenders during the Wildcats’ 56-54 loss to the Rebels Friday night.

WATERFORD — Waterford High was cruising along with a double-digit lead when it got torpedoed late in the fourth quarter by South Gallia High, which forced an extra four minutes.

In overtime, the Tom Simms-coached Wildcats never led and dropped a 56-54 decision to the rallying Rebels in Tri-Valley Conference-Hocking Division boys’ basketball action at the Cooper Annex Friday night.

Waterford (7-3) was paced by freshman Holden Dailey’s game-high 19 points.

Russell Young chipped in with 13, while Nick Fouss netted eight.

As a team, the Cats converted 18 of 35 from the foul line. They also had 25 turnovers.

South Gallia (9-3) was led by Braxton Hardy’s 16 points.

Garrett Saunders and C.J. Mayse added 12 apiece, and Nick Hicks had eight.

As a team, the Rebs were 11 of 22 from the charity stripe, and turned the ball over 21 times.

“Anytime you win on the road, it’s great,” said SGHS boss Kent Wolfe. “But when you come here and win, it’s sensational.

“I’m really proud of my kids. They gave it everything they got, and they understand how big of a win this is for us as a program.”

After falling behind 4-0 right after the opening tip-off, Waterford outpointed South Gallia, 12-3, and led by five at the end of one. The Wildcats would maintain that advantage until the Rebs came back to tie the score late in the final period.

Sparked by Dailey’s six second quarter points, WHS owned a 28-20 halftime lead.

Early in the third quarter, Waterford took its first double-digit lead on Dailey’s bank shot. And, at the end of the period, his layup gave the Wildcats a 39-27 advantage.

With 3:40 left in regulation, the Cats led 45-33. At the 3:17 mark, the Rebels called timeout.

When play was resumed, South Gallia outpointed Waterford 16-4 to force an extra session. During the Rebel surge, Saunders and Hicks drained back-to-back triples. And, just before the buzzer sounded, Saunders’s score made it 49-all.

“Our kids have been gutty all year long,” Wolfe said. “And we fight and we scrap. Finally, with about four minutes to go (in regulation), we kind of got Waterford uncomfortable, and they turned the basketball over — and we were able to come back.”

In OT, after Mayse’s putback on a missed free-throw and Eli Ellis’s 3, SGHS never looked back. Fouss had the Wildcats’ only field goal in the extra session.

With 10 seconds left, Waterford was down 55-53 and had an opportunity to tie the score at the line, but Dailey was only able to convert 1 of 2.