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INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County hung strong for the first 16 minutes Wednesday night but in the end Galax was too strong as the Tide rolled to an 84-64 Mountain Empire District win.
The Blue Devils (2-15 overall, 1-5 MED) started strong with points by Rusty Williams and a trey from Jhas Robinson to take an early 5-2 lead, but the Tide (12-3, 5-0) fought back with three straight points by G Zachary.
Grayson again found its rhythm to increase its lead by four with 4:49 left in the first quarter.
Again the Tide fought back and tied it up when Jacob Bartlett was left wide open under the net for a bucket and the score evened at 9.
The Blue Devils went ahead with Preston Bowen’s long 2-pointer with 4:07 left in the first quarter.
From there both teams hit a cold streak with no points scored until 2:20 when Galax’s Scott Alouf rebounded Luis Moreno’s shot and tied the game at 11.
The teams traded possessions and the Tide managed to pull away 23-15 at the end of one.
The second quarter belonged to the Blue Devils.
Williams managed four points, Preston Bowen six points, and four free throws by Bubba Bowen closed the gap to 38-31 at the half.
From there things only got worse for the Blue Devils.
The Tide opened the third quarter on a mission to put the Blue Devils away for good.
Galax opened with a 19-0 run over the first five and a half minutes in the third quarter to lead 59-31 with 2:42 left in the quarter.
The Blue Devil’s Robinson hit the team’s first shot when he nailed a 3-pointer to close the gap to 14.
Over the final two minutes, the Tide hit nearly every shot and led 71-40 at the end of three.
The Tide’s starters played only three minutes into the fourth before Coach Verl Brown brought in the second team.
The back-ups managed to keep Grayson at a distance and finished the game strong to bring home a 20-point victory.
Alouf was on fire most of the night, hitting nearly every 3-pointer and leading the team with 21 points. Aundrey Sams managed 14 points and Zachary added 11.
Grayson’s Williams led the way with 17 points, Bubba Bowen had 11 and Preston Bowen and Robinson both had 10.
The win marked Galax’s ninth straight and keeps the Tide undefeated in district play and alone in first place.
The loss adds to what has been a disappointing season for Grayson, which drops its fourth straight loss and fifth district loss. Grayson sits fifth in district standings.