ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — Simply put, the Raiders ran into a buzz saw.
Tyler Twyman became only the second male in River Valley history to reach 1,000 career points, but the Meigs boys basketball team shot 54 percent from the field Friday night en route to a 76-54 victory in a Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division contest at Larry R. Morrison Gymnasium in Meigs County.
The visiting Raiders (3-13, 0-7 TVC Ohio) stormed out to an early 5-0 advantage, but the Marauders (14-2, 6-2) — who missed their first two shot attempts — answered by hitting 20 of their next 26 field goal tries while establishing a commanding 47-28 cushion at the break.
MHS followed by netting three of their first four shot attempts in the third canto for a 57-30 advantage three minutes in, but the Silver and Black answered with a small 9-6 run to close to within 63-39 headed into the finale.
Jared Kennedy gave the hosts their largest lead of the night at 69-40 following a jumper at the 6:19 mark, but the Silver and Black closed regulation with a 14-7 charge to wrap up the 22-point outcome.
Meigs, winners of two straight, claimed a season sweep of the Raiders after previously posting a 61-39 decision in Bidwell back on December 18. RVHS, conversely, has now dropped four consecutive contests.
The Marauders had 10 different players reach the scoring column, committed only nine turnovers and also outrebounded the guests by a sizable 44-23 overall margin — including a 10-5 edge on the offensive glass. The hosts also shot 57 percent from the field through three quarters of play.
Second-year MHS coach Ed Fry was obviously pleased with the final outcome, particularly in the way that everyone contributed from the tip-off. Fry was also humble in expressing his pleasure for Twyman and his wonderful accomplishment afterwards.
“The kids were just totally focused on what we needed to do. I’ve not seen these kids as focused for a game as they were tonight,” Fry said. “We made some tweaks to our offense and we were able to get some really great looks at the basket tonight, and our kids took care of the rest.
“I do want to say that I am very happy for Tyler Twyman tonight. He’s a great kid and I’m really happy to see him back out on a basketball court. For what he’s been able to battle back from, I’m glad that he was able to reach this milestone.”
Twyman — who missed the first 10 games of the year due to a summertime knee injury — joined Joey James as the only Raiders to ever reach quadruple digits in points during a career. Twyman netted a trifecta from the right wing with 23.9 seconds left in the first quarter, which allowed him to surpass 1,000 points.
It’s a been an incredibly tough road in reaching this point, but the senior was pleased to have this burden lifted.
“It’s a special feeling knowing that I have finally reached this milestone,” Twyman said. “I’ve worked really hard to get to this point and I just want to thank my teammates and coaches for continuing to believe in me over the years.
“There were a lot of times while waking up at five in the morning that I really wondered why I was doing all of this rehab on my knee. I’m glad I stayed with it and was able to get back out here to reach this goal. I’m really glad that all of the hard work has paid off and I’m really glad that this pursuit is over. It’s really a relief off of my shoulders.”
The Raiders committed only one turnover in the first half and had just five miscues in the contest. The guests also shot 36 percent from the field and had eight different players reach the scoring column.
But, as second-year RVHS coach Jeremy Peck noted afterward, it’s hard to win a game when your opponent is making every shot it throws up.
“I can’t be disappointed too much with my boys. We played together very well in this game, especially offensively, but Meigs just would not miss a shot there in the first half. There was simply nothing we could do,” Peck said. “We obviously still need to tighten our defense up, but we put together a lot of positive things tonight in this game.”
Peck, on a more sentimental note, was very proud that his senior guard was able to join a very exclusive club at River Valley.
“I will say that I’m happy for Tyler tonight. I was there when he tore his knee and have been with him throughout the whole journey,” Peck said. “He’s come a long way and he’s fought through so much, so I’m really proud of him for what he’s been able to accomplish in getting to this milestone.”
After falling behind 5-0, Meigs rallied with eight straight points before ending up tied at nine with 4:51 left in the opening canto. The hosts reeled off 12 straight points over the next 3:14 and closed the period on a 16-5 surge, giving the Maroon and Gold a 25-14 lead after eight minutes of play.
MHS made a 12-0 run to start the second period for a 37-14 edge at the 5:55 mark, and River Valley never came closer than 41-24 following a basket by Jacob Dovenbarger with 2:34 left. The hosts closed the half on a small 6-4 run to secure a 19-point edge at the break.
The Marauders connected on 32-of-59 shot attempts overall and went 9-of-13 from three-point range for 69 percent. The hosts were also 3-of-7 at the free throw line for 43 percent.
Kaileb Sheets led Meigs with 19 points and nine assists, followed by Colton Lilly with 17 points and Christian Mattox with 15 markers. Jared Kennedy was next with eight points, while Dillon Mahr and Jaxon Meadows respectively added five and four markers.
Luke Musser, Tyler Fields, T.J. Williams and Devon Hawley rounded out the winning tally with two points apiece. Kennedy and Lilly each led the hosts with nine rebounds, while Mattox hauled in eight caroms.
The Raiders netted 20-of-56 field goal attempts overall, including a 9-of-26 effort from three-point range for 35 percent. The guests also netted 5-of-12 free throw attempts for 42 percent.
Twyman led RVHS with 16 points, followed by Dovenbarger and Kirk Morrow with 10 markers apiece. Layne Fitch contributed six points, while Jarrett McCarley added five points and Tre Craycraft had three markers.
Mark Wray and Jacob Morris rounded out the Raider tally with two points apiece. Dovenbarger led the guests with nine rebounds and Twyman added six boards in the setback.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.
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