BIDWELL, Ohio — A good physical test for the Lady Raiders.
The River Valley girls basketball team played good defense, but turnovers and missed opportunities ultimately decided the contest as the visiting Fairland Lady Dragons defeated the Silver and Black 50-38 on Wednesday night in Gallia County.
Fairland netted the first points of the game after Taylor Perry hit a three-pointer at the 6:12 mark of the first quarter. River Valley’s (7-4) first points came from free throws from Leia Moore and Shelby Brown. The Lady Dragons went on a brief 5-0 run — led by another three from Perry with four minutes left in the period.
Erin Jackson’s five points in the final two minutes got the Lady Raiders within one point of their opponents, but Allie Marshall’s three kept Fairland out in front. The Green and White led 13-9 after eight minutes of play.
The River Valley offense fought back in the second quarter. After a bucket from Emma Fulton, the Lady Raiders went on a 6-0 run to tie the contest at 15-all with a little over five minutes remaining in the period. However, the Lady Dragons went on a 6-0 run of their own and took a 21-15 lead into the break.
The Lady Raiders outrebounded their opponent 17-7 in the first half, but turnovers hurt the Silver and Black as River Valley had 11 in the first 16 minutes.
Fairland kept its offensive momentum going in the third quarter. Wilson’s three points led a 7-0 run for the Lady Dragons that last much of the period. Tianna Qualls gave the home team its first point of the second half off a free throw with 2:45 left in the quarter. Moore hit a layup for the Silver and Black with 26 seconds left, but the visitors maintained a 30-20 edge heading into the finale.
The Lady Raiders kicked off the fourth quarter in grand fashion with a 8-0 run — led by consecutive threes from Jackson and Moore — to make it a one possession game. Wilson’s five points led the Lady Dragons on 14-3 run to give the visitors a little cushion late in the contest.
River Valley shot 11-of-34 field goals in the game (32 percent), while Fairland shot 16-of-46 from the field (34 percent). The Silver and Black had 30 rebounds, but finished with 18 turnovers. The Lady Dragons had 22 rebounds and nine turnovers in the contest.
“We didn’t play too bad at defense, but we struggled a bit there to score,” River Valley coach Sarah Evans-Moore said. “When you can’t keep pace with Fairland, you’re not going to be able to win. I was proud of our kids. I thought they played hard and did a lot of good things. We handled their pressure alright and, if we had a few more shots fall, we would have been in a better position to win the game. I give credit to [Fairland]. They’re very aggressive and play hard. They’re a good team.”
Moore led River Valley’s efforts with 12 points, followed by Jackson with 10 points. Brown and Courtney Smith had six points each, while Qualls contributed two points for the Silver and Black.
Perry led Fairland with a game-high 19 points. Emily Chapman finished with nine points, followed by Wilson with eight points. Marshall and Emma Fulton each had five points, while Alesha Simpson had four points for the Green and White.
River Valley will host Oak Hill on Monday for a 6 p.m. tipoff.
Donald Lambert can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106