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SPARTA, N.C. –– Galax saw a 21-point lead dwindle to two then grow again to 25 as the Maroon Tide took an 89-65 nondistrict win over Alleghany, N.C., Wednesday night.
Galax (5-0) was about as good as it could be for the first 8:46 but slowly coughed up nearly every bit of a 21-point cushion before pulling away down the stretch.
Following Jordan Vaughan’s layup 46 seconds into the second quarter to give Galax a 30-9 lead, Alleghany (2-7) methodically worked its way back into the game, starting with an 18-6 run in the second quarter. The Trojans’ Jeremy Mabe spearheaded the comeback with a pair of 3-pointers sandwiched around a steal and driving layup, and Trey Edwards’ foul shot with 3:50 left in the half had Alleghany within single digits less than four minutes after having trailed by three touchdowns.
Only a pair of Austin Pack 3-pointers stood between Galax and a complete offensive donut during the Trojans’ run, but the Tide was able to hang on to a 10-point lead at the half, 45-35.
Alleghany’s rally was just getting started, though.
After a three-point play by Jerad Brown to open the second half, the Trojans tore off on a 13-2 run, and Julian McNeil’s inside bucket had Alleghany trailing by a mere two points, 52-50, at the 4:21 mark of the third.
But Galax switched on the defensive pressure it had ridden to the big first-half lead and soon was back out in front by a dozen points. Pack drained a 3-pointer and would score nine straight Galax points, and Deion George scored twice underneath off of turnovers as the Tide took a 65-53 lead into the fourth.
Alleghany would remain within single digits as late as the 6:36 mark on McNeil’s basket from the lane, but Galax went on a scoring frenzy during an 80-second stretch late in the third, putting up 14 unanswered points to seal the win. Pack hit his seventh trey and swiped a Trojan pass to feed Eddie Hanks for a lay-in, and George scored twice off his own steals, the second one widening the gap back to 22 points, 81-59, at 3:32 of the fourth.
The finish was much like the beginning for Galax, which zoomed away from a 13-9 lead with 17 straight points. Justin Hash swished a 3-pointer and Hanks scored in transition for a 28-9 lead at the end of one, and Vaughan capitalized on a Hash takeaway to stretch the gap to 30-9 early in the second.
Pack led four Galax scorers in double figures with 29 points and Brown added a strong 22 for the Tide. George tossed in 14 and Hash contributed 10 for Galax, which would shoot 68 percent (17-of-25) in the first half, 57 percent for the game (34-for-59).
McNeil’s 17 led the Trojans, who got 13 points from Mabe and 10 from Edwards.
Galax............................ 28 17 20 24––89
Alleghany, NC................. 9 26 18 12––65
Hash 4 1-2 10, Hanks 2 0-0 4, Brown 9 4-6 22, Vaughan 1 2-2 4, Pack 10 2-2 29, George 6 2-2 14, Fisher 1 0-0 2, McKinney 2 0-0 4, Garvey 0 0-2 0. Totals 35 11-16 89.
Alleghany, NC (2-7)
Easter 3 2-3 8, Greene 1 0-0 3, Hoffman 2 2-2 6, McNeil 7 3-5 17, Pine 3 2-3 8, Edwards 3 4-8 10, McKnight 0 0-2 0, Mabe 5 0-2 13. Totals 24 13-25 65.
Three-point field goals – Galax 8-24 (Pack 7, Hash), Alleghany 4-12 (Mabe 2, Greene). Rebounds – Galax 35 (Brown 8), Alleghany 31 (Edwards 6). Turnovers – Galax 22, Alleghany 31. Team fouls – Galax 21, Alleghany 14. Fouled out – none. Technical fouls – none.