Submitted by Hobart Wilson, Jr.

Close, but no cigar.

Gallipolis came close to pulling the season’s biggest upset in the Centenary Gym Tuesday, but fell to the visiting Fairland Dragons 60-59 in the final seconds of play. Coach Gary Harrison’s Blue Devils trailed 46-34 going into the fourth period, but rallied to take a 55-51 lead on a goal by Cory Call with 2:01 left to play.

With GAHS still leading 55-53, Fairland’s Ian Chinn tied it at 55-55 with less than a minute to play then Gallia’s Justin McClelland hit two free throws to give GAHS a 59-57 lead with 26.7 seconds left.

With 13.1 seconds left, Fairland’s Luke Thomas, 6-1 senior, hit what proved to be the game winner, a trey and Fairland not only won the game, it’s 40th straight in three years in OVL play, but clinched its third straight OVC crown in three years.

Gallipolis had a chance to win the game and called time out with 2.5 seconds left.

GAHS inbounded the ball, but Kaden Thomas’ shot bounced off the rim as the game ended.

The win left Fairland 15-3 on the year and 11-0 in OVL play. Gallipolis dropped to 15-4 overall and 9-3 in OVL action.

Gallipolis will play at Portsmouth on Feb. 9. Fairland will play at Chesapeake.

Fairland led 14-4 after one period Tuesday. The Dragons were up 36-21 at halftime and led 45-37 going into the fourth quarter.

Gallipolis outscored the visitors 25-14 in the last quarter, but fell one point short.

Fairland placed four players in double figures, led by Isiah Howell’s 18 points. Luke Thomas added 13, Kollin Van Horn 12 and Harder 10.

Gallipolis also placed four players in double figures, led by Kevin Wiseman with 18 points, Kaden Thomas and Zach Loveday with 11 and Justin McClelland 10.

Fairland won a thrilling JV game to wrap up the OVC JV title by beating Gallipolis, 58-51.

The win left Fairland 12-0 in OVL, 13-1 overall. Gallipolis dropped 15-4 overall and 9-3 in league play.

In the JV game, Fairland led 12-6 after one period, but GAHS came back to take a 30-25 halftime lead. The Little Dragons led 43-41 going into the final period.

Ben Cox led Gallipolis with 18 points. Austin Garten led Fairland with 20 points.

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