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A ferocious rally that saw Galax overcome an 18-point deficit in less than four minutes was laid to waste by a two-minute barrage by Oak Hill Red’s R.J. Currington as the Warriors held off the Maroon Tide 77-64 in a nondistrict game Monday night.
Trailing 53-35 in the waning seconds of the third quarter, Galax (11-4) soon found itself within one possession of tying or taking the lead with more than five minutes still remaining. Currington had other ideas, though, as he scored 11 points in the next two minutes and 13 seconds, helping Oak Hill rebuild a comfortable cushion. The Warriors clung to a 58-56 advantage when Currington caught fire, hitting a midrange jumper to double the lead to four points. Jerad Brown scored on the other end for Galax, but in four Oak Hill possessions, Currington hit three free throws and then knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers, widening the Warriors’ lead back to double figures, 69-58, with 2:48 to go. Galax got back to within single digits on a Deion George basket with 2:19 left, but Oak Hill sank 8-of-11 free throws in the final two minutes to hang on to the lead. Galax was in very real danger of being run out of its own gym after falling behind by 18 points, looking at a 52-35 gap when the Warriors’ Michael Ishata sank two foul shots with 32 seconds left in the third quarter. Over the next 3:33, however, the Maroon Tide picked up the intensity on defense and embarked on a 21-5 run, with George doing most of the damage on the offensive end. Galax forced Oak Hill turnovers on seven of the Warriors’ first 10 possessions of the fourth quarter and converted five steals into 10 points, with Brock Cox’s takeaway setting up George for a transition layup to cap the run. George had managed nine points through three periods but poured in 14 points in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter to spearhead Galax’s comeback effort, which included a 3-pointer by Justin Hash. Oak Hill began building its lead midway through the first quarter when Steven Aishene completed a three-point play, Caleb Porter scored off a backdoor cut and Currington hit the first of his six 3-pointers, sending Oak Hill into the second quarter with a 23-13 lead. Oak Hill hit four of its first six attempts from behind the arc and shot 58 percent from the floor (15-for-26) in the first half. The Warriors’ lead grew to 15 points, 30-15, on a pair of baskets by Ishata early in the second quarter, and Oak Hill carried a 39-25 lead into the half. Currington led three Oak Hill scorers in double figures with 31 points, all but six of that total coming in the first and fourth quarters. Aishene finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Porter chipped in with 11 points. George led Galax with 25 points and Hash hit four 3-pointers en route to 17 points. Galax gets back to Mountain Empire District action today (Wednesday) with a crucial trip to MED leader Grayson County. Oak Hill Red......23 16 14 24––77 Galax................13 12 14 25––64
Oak Hill Red Porter 4 1-4 11, Latimer 0 3-4 3, Taylor 1 0-0 3, Ishata 2 2-2 6, Currington 10 5-10 31, Piner 1 3-4 5, Aishene 5 7-8 17. Totals 23 21-32 77. Galax (11-4) Hash 6 2-2 17, Brown 2 0-0 4, Martin 1 0-2 3, George 10 5-7 25, Cox 1 1-2 3, Bond 2 0-0 5, Thompson 1 0-0 3, McKinney 1 0-0 2, Goins 0 2-4 2. Totals 24 10-17 64.
Three-point field goals – Oak Hill 9-15 (Currington 6, Porter 2, Taylor), Galax 6-16 (Hash 3, Martin, Bond, Thompson). Rebounds – Oak Hill 34 (Aishene 10), Galax 27 (Brown, George 6). Turnovers – Oak Hill 26, Galax 23. Team fouls – Oak Hill 17, Galax 23. Fouled out – none. Technical fouls – George.
JV – Galax 47-38.