BIDWELL, Ohio — Talk about saving your best for last.
The River Valley girls basketball team doubled up visiting Symmes Valley by a 20-10 margin down the stretch, allowing the Lady Raiders to rally back and claim a 50-44 victory Monday night in a non-conference matchup in Gallia County.
The Lady Raiders (5-14) snapped a five-game losing skid, and did so in a very dramatic fashion — as the hosts made the most of both free throws and timely outside shooting in the finale. RVHS netted 12-of-15 freebies in the final eight minutes, and both trifectas in the game also came at pivotal points of the fourth stanza.
The Lady Vikings (7-12) led 34-30 after three quarters of play, but Beth Misner drilled a three just 12 seconds into the finale — pulling the hosts to within one point. RVHS followed with a field goal from Tracy Roberts for a 35-34 edge at 6:55, but the guests countered with a basket 15 seconds later for their final lead of the night at 36-35.
The Lady Raiders recaptured the lead with a 3-0 run over the next 48 seconds for a 39-36 lead at 5:52, but SVHS retaliated with a 3-0 spurt of its own for a 39-all tie with 2:17 left in regulation. Both teams also found themselves at 41-all with 1:51 left.
Cady Gilmore gave RVHS a permanent lead with 1:36 showing, as the junior hit a step-back three-pointer for a 44-41 edge. Symmes Valley twice pulled back to within two points, but never came closer the rest of the way. The guests were as close as 46-44 with 32 seconds left, but the Lady Raiders hit 4-of-6 charity tosses to wrap up the six-point outcome.
The Lady Vikings led at the end of each of the first three periods, as the guests were up 12-8 after one quarter and 21-20 at the intermission. SVHS also used a 13-10 run in the third quarter to go ahead two possessions headed into the finale.
River Valley — which held the guests without a three-pointer — made 22-of-29 free throw attempts for 76 percent, including a 16-of-19 performance in the second half. Symmes Valley, conversely, made only 6-of-16 charity tosses overall for 38 percent, including a 5-of-12 effort over the final 16 minutes.
Gilmore led the Lady Raiders with a game-high 22 points, which included a perfect 11-of-11 effort at the free throw line. Kaci Bryant was next with 12 points, followed by Tracy Roberts with seven points and Beth Misner with six markers. Alexis Hurt and Alli Neville rounded out the respective scoring with two points and one point.
Gracie Waddell paced the Lady Vikings with 12 points, followed by eight each from Malenna Davis, Megan Johnson and Kalli Hunt.
River Valley concludes its regular season and league schedule on Thursday when it hosts Rock Hill on Senior Night in an Ohio Valley Conference matchup at 6 p.m.
River Valley 50, Symmes Valley 44
SV 12-9-13-10 — 44
RV 8-12-10-20 — 50
SYMMES VALLEY (7-12): Malenna Davis 3 2-4 8, Gracie Waddell 4 4-11 12, Elly Fulks 2 0-0 4, Kalli Hunt 4 0-0 8, Megan Johnson 4 0-0 8, Sarah Crabtree 0 0-0 0, Hannah Maynard 2 0-1 4, Taylor Mitchell 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 19 6-16 44. Three-point goals: None.
RIVER VALLEY (5-14): Chelsea Copley 0 0-0 0, Shalin Comer 0 0-0 0, Beth Misner 1 3-4 6, Alli Neville 0 1-4 1, Alexis Hurt 1 0-0 2, Cady Gilmore 5 11-11 22, Mercedes Combs 0 0-0 0, Tracy Roberts 3 1-5 7, Kaci Bryant 3 6-6 12. TOTALS: 13 22-29 50. Three-point goals: 2 (Misner, Gilmore).