BIDWELL, Ohio — Despite shooting a blistering 52 percent from the field, the River Valley boys basketball team was victimized by 24 costly turnovers Tuesday night during a 54-48 setback to visiting Vinton County in a non-conference matchup in Gallia County.
The host Raiders (1-5) connected on 19-of-36 shot attempts in the contest — which included an 8-for-12 effort from three-point range for 67 percent — but the Vikings (4-1) forced eight turnovers in the opening canto en route to establishing an early 20-11 edge.
RVHS committed its 10th mistake of the night at the 6:30 mark of the second canto after Jordan Albright came away with a steal before being fouled. His successful free throws following that Raider miscue gave the guests their biggest lead of the first half at 24-13.
The Silver and Black — who committed 13 of their 24 turnovers in the opening 16 minutes — trailed by as many as 14 points in the second half and never came closer than two possessions after the break, allowing VCHS to secure the six-point triumph. The Vikings, winners of four straight, committed 14 turnovers in the decision.
Head coach Jordan Hill was a little nerved following this setback, the fifth straight for the Raiders. Then again, giving an opponent 10 extra chances in a two-possession game does make a huge difference in the final outcome — especially when the ball is going in the hole.
“In order for us to be able to win ball games and being successful on the offensive end, we need to embrace pressure. In the last few games, teams have pressured us … and we have committed way too many turnovers in those games. We’re just wasting possessions,” Hill said. “We have been in a good majority of our games this year, which means possessions are so valuable and so crucial, and we need to take care of the ball.
“In order for us to improve as a team, we need to embrace pressure so that good things can happen. Right now, we need to find guys that our willing to embrace it.”
The Vikings stormed out to an early 5-2 advantage, but the hosts countered with five straight points to claim their only lead of the night at the 5:39 mark of the first quarter at 7-5. VCHS tied things up at seven just 22 seconds later, then closed the final 4:49 of the first period with an 13-4 surge to claim a nine-point edge through eight minutes of play.
Down 11 points a minute-and-a-half into the second stanza, the Raiders responded with a 10-2 surge over the next four minutes to pull within 26-23 with 2:36 left in the half. VCHS countered with a 6-0 run to close the quarter out with a 32-23 intermission advantage.
The Raiders — who had at least five turnovers in each quarter Tuesday night — watched Vinton County open the third canto with a 10-5 run, allowing the guests to take their largest lead of the night at 42-28 with 4:10 remaining. RVHS, however, answered with a 10-4 run to close out the period with a 46-38 deficit.
The Vikings extended their lead out to 52-40 with 5:34 left in the fourth, but the hosts closed the game on an 8-2 run and also held the VCHS without a point over the final 2:40 of regulation.
Tyler Twyman went 4-for-4 from three-point range and led the Raiders with a game-high 18 points, followed by Ethan Dovenbarger with 10 points and Joseph Loyd with nine markers. Seann Roberts added six points inside, while Justin Rusk and Burnie Stanley rounded out the respective scoring with three and two markers.
The hosts sank 2-of-3 free throw attempts for 67 percent and posted team totals of 20 rebounds, nine assists and one steal. Dovenbarger led RVHS with five rebounds, while Roberts and Twyman both chipped in four caroms apiece.
Vinton County connected on 19-of-47 field goal attempts for 40 percent, including a 4-of-8 effort from three-point territory for 50 percent. The guests were also 12-of-19 at the charity stripe for 63 percent.
Jordan Kidd and L.B. Remy both paced the Vikings with 12 points each, followed by Bryce Owings with 11 points and Jordan Albright with nine markers.