BIDWELL, Ohio — Unfortunately for the Lady Raiders, the Lady Bulldogs saved their best for last.
The River Valley girls basketball team led by four points headed into the fourth quarter of Thursday’s Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division bout in Gallia County, but visiting Athens ended the game with a 22-12 spurt to snap its seven-game skid with a 47-41 victory.
The teams played evenly through the first eight minutes, each tallying eight points, with four Lady Raiders and five Lady Bulldogs marking in the scoring column.
River Valley (5-17, 0-12 TVC Hocking) went on a 13-to-7 run in the second quarter and headed into the half with a 21-15 advantage.
Athens got two points back in the third period, outscoring the Silver and Black by a 10-to-8 tally to make the RVHS lead 29-25 with eight minutes to play.
The Lady Raiders marked 12 points in the fourth quarter, eight of which came from senior Kelsey Brown. However, Athens surged for 22 points, half of which came over 17 free throw attempts, and sealed the 47-41 victory.
For the game, RVHS was 2-of-10 (20 percent) from the free throw line, where Athens was 19-of-29 (65.5 percent).
Brown led the Lady Raiders with 12 points, followed by Kaylee Gillman with nine, including the team’s lone three-pointer. Hannah Jacks contributed eight points to the RVHS cause, Cierra Roberts and Lexi Stout added four points apiece, while Savannah Reese and Beth Gillman both scored two.
The Lady Bulldogs were led by Laura Manderick with 13 points, eight of which came in the fourth quarter. Next was Kaylee Stewart with eight points, followed by Emma Harter with seven and Mindi Gregory with six. Harper Bennett and Kesi Federspiel scored four points apiece in the win, Lilly Mills added three, while Haylie Mills had two.
Athens also defeated RVHS on Jan. 10 by a 48-34 count in The Plains.
River Valley will be back in action in the sectional semifinal against Jackson on Monday at Wellston High School.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.