Galva finishes 4-1 at ROWVA-Williamsfield with scrappy 43-40 win over hosts Monday

The ROWVA-Williamsfield Tournament started with a loss, and culminated with four straight wins and the second-place plaque for the Galva boys basketball team.

After dropping their tournament opener to eventual champion DePue, the Wildcats bounced back and capped a four-game winning streak with a hard-fought 43-40 win over the host Cougars Monday night in Williamsfield.

“Honestly, there was progress because tonight (Monday) we physically battled and got on the ground, and I didn’t think we did that this week as well as I’d hoped,” Galva head coach Chance Jones said. “And they (R-W) did too, but we won some of those battles.”

ROWVA-Williamsfield paid special attention to Galva’s leading scorers — Mason Kaiser and Cooper Hoxworth — with a triangle-and-two defense. Ethan Peterson and Nick Anderson stepped up early for the Cats, combining for all 11 of the team’s points in the opening quarter. Galva led 11-6 after eight minutes, but 3-pointers from Calvin Peterson, Austin Batterson and Jacob Varner pulled R-W within 20-18 at the break.

Galva started the second half with a 9-2 spurt to build its largest lead of the night, 29-20, but the Cougars tallied the final five points of the third quarter to trim the deficit to 29-25.

Sophomore Peyton Sopiars scored a pair of big baskets early in the fourth quarter as the Wildcats stretched the lead to six, 35-29. R-W cut the deficit to one point on three occasions down the stretch — including 41-40 on Lorin Peterson’s drive with a minute to play — but the Wildcats answered with a patient offensive set that resulted in a Hoxworth cut to the bucket and hoop to make it 43-40 with 34 ticks left.

R-W had a chance to force overtime, but Batterson was surrounded by Wildcats as his 3-pointer at the buzzer was well off the mark.

“Down the stretch we were playing very hard, but we weren’t making smart decisions at all,” Jones said. “We’re lucky to get away with one after that.”

Ethan Peterson led the Wildcats with 13 points, while Hoxworth finished with 10. Batterson paced the Cougars with 16 and Calvin Peterson added eight off the bench.


Double-digit wins

In between the DePue and R-W games, Galva posted three double-digit victories — 69-48 over Henry Tuesday (Nov. 21), 63-47 over United Friday and 45-28 Saturday over West Central.

Scoring leaders in those wins for the Wildcats were Kaiser with 23 and Hoxworth 17 against Henry; Kaiser with 26, Hoxworth 14 and Peterson 11 against United; and Hoxworth with 25 against West Central.

The Wildcats made some strides after opening the tourney with 25 turnovers against DePue.

“I thought we did value the basketball better each day, but we’re still way off,” Jones said. “Defensively we started doing some things better, but there’s a million things now that we’re going back to the drawing board on.”

An aspect that remains unsettled for the Wildcats is the rotation. 

“The guys are great right now. They just want to win,” Jones said. “We’re trying to work out rotations and I’m hoping over the next few games we can start ironing out some of that.”

“It’s good to come out of here 4-1, but we’ve got a lot of work to do,” Jones added. “I really love this group. We just have a long ways to go.”


ROWVA-Williamsfield takes third place

The Cougars finished 3-2 in their own tourney with losses to DePue and Galva.

In between the opening win over United and closing loss to Galva, R-W went 2-1 — 52-40 loss to DePue Tuesday (Nov. 21), 63-49 win over West Central Friday and 78-35 rout of Henry Saturday.

R-W’s leading scorers in those outings were Austin Batterson with 13 and Charlie Gibbons 10 against DePue; Batterson with 22, Isaac Cordle 14 and Gunner Johnston 10 against West Central; Batterson 25, Calvin Peterson 10 and Matthew Jones 10 against Henry.


Ridgewood wins its own tournament

At Woodhull, the tie went to the hosts.

Three teams finished with 2-1 records in the four-team Ridgewood Thanksgiving Tournament — the host Spartans, Abingdon-Avon and Riverdale  — and the tiebreaker went to the hosts.

The three-way logjam was broken by free-throw percentage which put Ridgewood first, A-Town second and Riverdale third.

The tourney opened Wednesday (Nov. 22) with Abingdon-Avon slipping past Riverdale 48-43 and Ridgewood handling Knoxville 74-52. 

Briar Greenman topped Ridgewood with 25 points.

In Friday night’s doubleheader, Abingdon-Avon cruised past Knoxville 42-23 and Riverdale dumped Ridgewood 58-31. 

Greenman was the lone Spartan in double figures with 15 points.

In Saturday night’s finales, Riverdale defeated Knoxville 49-16 and Ridgewood topped Abingdon-Avon 47-36 to hand the Tornadoes their first loss and create the three-team tie at 2-1.

Travis Kane led the Spartans with 17 points, followed by Greenman with 11 and Max Nuckles with 10.


All-tournament team at Ridgewood

Ridgewood placed two players on the six-player all-tournament team — Briar Greenman and Max Nuckles.

Joining Greenman and Nuckles on the team were Brett Murphy and Conner Hughes of Riverdale, and Calen Mahr and Hunter Darst of Abingdon-Avon.