THE PLAINS, Ohio — For the Raiders, this was not a good game of “Catch-22”.
That’s because the host Athens Bulldogs, bolstered by 22 points apiece in each of the opening two quarters, bullied River Valley 81-47 on Tuesday night inside McAfee Gymnasium in The Plains.
The Bulldogs blitzed the Raiders 22-6 in the first period, then doubled up River Valley 22-11 in the second stanza to lead 44-17 at halftime.
While the Raiders recorded 19 points in the third frame, Athens only added to its advantage —scoring 24 points to lead 68-36.
With the lopsided loss, River Valley fell victim to an Athens season sweep — as the Bulldogs bulldozed the Raiders 71-30 on Dec. 9.
Tuesday’s loss left the Raiders at 6-11 — and only 1-6 in the Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division.
Athens, as part of a three-way tie in the loss column for the league lead, improved to 5-1 — part of 8-5 overall.
The Bulldogs simply dominated the contest from start to finish —and easily controlled all of the statistics.
The Green and Gold shot 46-percent (32-of-69) from the field, out-rebounded River Valley by more than a 2-to-1 (48-21) margin, amassed 19 assists and forced 19 turnovers, and also made off with 13 steals.
In addition, as River Valley shot just 33-percent (18-of-54), the Bulldogs made more free throws (13) than the Raiders even attempted (10).
Athens amounted a 32-18 advantage in total field goals.
Griffin Lutz, the reigning Southeast District Division II Player of the Year, landed 21 points to pace all scorers — on 10 total field goals and a free throw.
Lutz also dished out eight assists and collected four steals.
Robert Dickelman —on five field goals and 3-of-3 foul shots — dropped in 13 points, and also ripped down 14 rebounds.
Justin Hynes, on four baskets and 4-of-6 free throws, had 12 —while Dalton Cozart, on two twos and two threes, canned 10.
Logan Maxfield mustered four field goals for nine points, as Eli Chubb chalked up a pair of three-pointers.
Jacob Dovenbarger, on six total field goals and a freebie, led the Raiders with 16 points.
Jarret McCarley made three baskets and 2-of-2 foul shots for 10, as Dovenbarger drained three triples while McCarley made another two.
Dustin Barber, on three field goals including the club’s other trey, and Jacob Campbell — on four buckets —added eight points apiece.
Tre Craycraft and Patrick Brown, on a field goal apiece, and Layne Fitch — with a free throw —rounded out the Raider scoring.
River Valley returns home, and returns to TVC-Ohio Division action, on Friday night against Wellston.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106