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Low-scoring doesn’t necessarily mean low-action.
In a game with enough activity to put both teams in the 80s, Galax and Narrows barely came up with 80 points between them as the Maroon Tide used another strong defensive effort to come away with a 44-40 Mountain Empire District boys win Friday over the Green Wave.
Three days after holding Bland County to a combined four points in the first and fourth quarters, Galax (14-4 overall, 8-1 district) limited Narrows (9-10, 2-7) to a total of 14 in the second and fourth on Friday. Trailing by six points entering the final period, the Maroon Tide outscored the Green Wave 19-9 down the stretch to keep pace with Graham (8-1) in the league standings.
Furiously whipping the ball around to distend and then exploit the Narrows zone defense, the Maroon Tide did just about all its scoring from the paint and the foul line, but two huge outside jumpers – two of the three that Galax hit from outside the lane in the game – boosted it into the lead for good. Galax trailed 31-25 when Chase Garvey opened the fourth quarter by converting a Darian Brown feed into a layup. Stew Merdian, who put up season highs with 11 points and eight rebounds, got a 3-pointer to bounce in from the top of the key and, following the Tide’s third straight defensive stop, Steven Peoples knocked down a 16-foot baseline jumper to put Galax in front 32-31 with 6:19 to go.
Rodney Perdue hit two foul shots at the 6:12 mark to give Narrows its final lead of the night but Galax held the Green Wave scoreless for more than three minutes, taking command with an 8-0 run. Garvey hit two free throws to nudge Galax into the lead for good, Peoples scored on the inside, Brown laid in a soft left-handed finger roll off a drive and Garvey, who scored a season-high 10 points, capped the run with a baseline cut to the hoop.
Cole Baker swished four straight from the foul line for the Green Wave to make it a one-possession game, 40-37 with 1:22 left, but Galax hit 4-of-6 from the line in the final minute to ice the win.
Chandler Burton had seven first-quarter points for Narrows, but it wasn’t until the 5:38 mark of the second quarter that both teams finally got into double digits. Garvey scored his second straight bucket to tie the game at 10 and the Maroon Tide kept the Green Wave stuck on 10 points from the 3:38 mark of the first quarter until 1:04 remained in the half, reeling off 11 unanswered points in the process. Merdian hit two short shots and Caleb Bartlett’s foul shot ended the run with Galax up 17-10.
Perdue swished a trey and scored on a drive to end the half with the Maroon Tide holding a 17-15 lead.
Burton led all scorers with 13 points for the Green Wave.
Narrows......10 5 16 9––40
Galax.............6 11 8 19––44
Narrows (9-10, 2-7)
Givens 0 0-0 0, Spangler 2 0-2 5, Perdue 3 2-6 9, Hall 1 2-3 4, Burton 4 3-7 13, Baker 0 5-6 5, Lively 1 2-2 4. Totals 11 14-26 40.
Galax (14-4, 8-1)
Bartlett 0 1-2 1, D.Brown 1 2-2 4, Peoples 2 0-0 4, Merdian 4 2-2 11, Quesenberry 2 1-4 6, Pack 2 2-5 4, Garvey 4 2-2 10, DiGiacomo 1 0-0 2. Totals 16 10-17 44.
Three-point field goals – Narrows 4 (Perdue 2, Burton 2), Galax 2 (Merdian, Quesenberry). Team fouls – Narrows 18, Galax 21. Fouled out – Givens, Merdian. Technical fouls – none.
JV – Galax won.