Raiders upset Golden Rockets, 66-58

By Paul Boggs -

BIDWELL, Ohio —What a difference a day made.

One night after enduring epic scoring droughts against Athens, the River Valley Raiders rebounded for a surprising 66-58 victory over the visiting Wellston Golden Rockets on Wednesday night in a Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division boys basketball makeup matchup.

The contest was originally scheduled for Jan. 12, but was postponed due to inclement weather.

The win was the Raiders’ first this year in 10 TVC-Ohio tilts, as they raised their overall record to 4-15.

Wellston, which won at Athens on Friday night 84-68, fell to 9-7 — and 2-7 in the league.

The Raiders responded from Tuesday night’s offensive struggles, in which they combined for only six points in the middle two quarters — and went 13 minutes and 46 seconds without a field goal.

Twice against the Bulldogs they went five minutes without a single point, and only scored 18 after three frames.

Against Wellston, the story was completely different.

River Valley scored 17 in the opening quarter alone, and led Wellston by four points (17-13) entering the second stanza.

The Golden Rockets rallied to reverse the deficit by halftime (35-31), but the Raiders erupted for a 21-10 output in the third quarter, taking a 52-45 advantage after three.

Wellston only attempted two free throws in the entire second half, while River Valley sank 9-of-12 over the final 16 minutes.

“The boys played incredible tonight. From the opening minute to the last, they gave it everything they had and never quit,” said River Valley coach Jeremy Peck. “It was a total team effort tonight.”

In the second half, the Raiders outscored the Rockets 35-23, after Wellston scored 22 in the second quarter alone, including 14 points by Chazz Davis.

The entire Wellston team tallied 10 points in the third — including two field goals apiece by Davis and Caden Ervin, and another by Ryan Hawk.

Davis did pour in a game-high 29 points, dropping in a dozen field goals and 5-of-11 free throws.

However, no other Golden Rocket recorded double figures.

River Valley’s Jacob Dovenbarger amounted a double-double with a team-high 19 points and 15 rebounds.

Dovenbarger dialed in for eight field goals, including four in the 21-point third period, in addition to 3-of-5 first-half free throws.

Tyler Twyman racked up 18 points and 10 boards, canning six total field goals and 4-of-6 foul shots.

He also bagged two of the team’s four three-pointers, including one in the third quarter.

The other triples belonged to Tre Craycraft, Layne Fitch and Jarrett McCarley, as McCarley collected nine points — including 4-of-5 fourth-quarter freebies.

Mark Wray, with four field g0als over the final three quarters, finished with eight points and seven rebounds.

Kirk Morrow, over the opening three periods, mustered two field goals and 2-of-2 free throws.

Morrow also dished out eight assists.

Hawk had nine points on four field goals for Wellston, while Ervin added two deuces in the third quarter for seven.

Braydon Womeldorf, with two trifectas and a first-quarter free throw, also scored seven for the Jackson countians.

Logan Collins on two second-quarter free throws, and a field goal apiece by Caleb Stanley (first quarter) and Daivon Newell (fourth quarter), rounded out the Rockets.

River Valley will return home, and return to TVC-Ohio action, tonight (Friday) against Vinton County.

Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106

By Paul Boggs