THE PLAINS, Ohio — One skid is over, the other continues on.
The River Valley and Athens boys basketball teams faced off Tuesday night in McAfee Gymnasium, both entering play with lengthy losing skids. It was the host Bulldogs, who had lost four games in a row, that emerged with the 72-37 victory, while handing the Raiders their seventh straight setback.
Athens (1-4, 1-2 TVC Ohio) outscored the Raiders (1-7, 0-3) 16-to-9 in the opening stanza, and the hosts expanded the lead to 30-22 by halftime.
After the break the AHS offense found its groove, scoring 22 points in the third period and pushing the advantage to 52-31 headed into the fourth. River Valley was held to just six points over the final eight minutes as Athens cruised to a 72-37 victory.
RVHS junior Jacob Dovenbarger led the Silver and Black with 11 points, nine rebounds, three steals and four blocks, while Dustin Barber and Jarrett McCarley scored eight and seven points respectively. Mark Wray posted four points, Kirk Morrow had three points and a team-best two assists, while Dayton Hardway and Wyatt Newman rounded out the Raider scoring with two points apiece.
River Valley shot 6-of-10 (60 percent) from the free throw line and 14-of-56 (25 percent) from the field, including 3-of-16 (18.8 percent) from beyond the arc. As a team the Raiders marked 29 rebounds, five assists, four steals, five blocks, 11 fouls and 17 turnovers.
Griffin Lutz led the Bulldogs with 33 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and two blocks, while Dalton Cozart made Athens’ only two trifectas and finished with 12 points. Zacciah Saltzman and Logan Maxfield both scored eight points, Nick Lutz and Brody Ball each added four, while Robert Dickelman rounded out the AHS scoring with three points.
The hosts were 8-of-10 (80 percent) from the charity stripe, 31-of-63 (49.2 percent) from the field and 2-of-14 (14.3 percent) from three-point range. As a team the Green and Gold had 44 rebounds, 14 assists, 11 steals, five blocks, 15 fouls and 11 turnovers.
The Raiders will try to flip the script on February 2, when Athens visits Bidwell. River Valley will look to get back on track Friday night when undefeated Meigs travels to Gallia County.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.