BIDWELL, Ohio — It was time to see how it felt to be on the other side.
After back-to-back 31-point setbacks, the River Valley girls basketball team turned the tables on Thursday night in Gallia County, defeating Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division guest Wellston by a 64-33 final tally.
The Lady Raiders (3-4, 1-3 TVC Ohio) — snapping a 37-game skid in league-play — trailed 9-0, with Wellston making its first three three-pointers. River Valley answered with a 17-to-4 run, sinking four trifectas of its own and leading 17-13 at the end of the first quarter.
The Lady Rockets were held to just three points in the second quarter, going 0-of-8 from the field. River Valley stretched its lead to 33-16 by halftime, and then scored the first eight points of the second half for a 41-16 lead.
Wellston battled back to within 19 points, at 44-25, by the end of the third, but RVHS went on an 8-0 run to start the fourth and led 52-25. WHS ended the drought with a two-pointer at the 5:19 mark of the quarter, but the Silver and Black closed the 64-33 triumph with a 12-to-6 spurt.
After the 31-point win, third-year RVHS head coach Stephen Roderick commended his team for bouncing back after being down 9-0 two minutes into play.
“The first quarter we came out a little shaky, they tend to do that, but once we got our feet under us we were off to the races,” Roderick said. “We really put some pressure on them and were able to make them turn the ball over, and we started hitting some shots.
“In a game like this, everybody contributed, all-12. Even the girls on the bench were chanting and cheering, and I think really rattled Wellston once we got going.”
Roderick also noted that this game was of the highest importance to the Lady Raiders, after coming out on the wrong end of some games they didn’t expect to.
“This was a must win tonight for us, for our season,” Roderick said. “We let a few go that we thought we maybe could have won. Just to keep the morale and keep everything going, we needed this win tonight. I didn’t tell them that in the locker room before the game, because that can sometimes get into people’s heads and cause them to press too hard.”
RVHS won the rebounding battle by a 53-to-30 clip, including 21-to-8 on the offensive end. The Lady Raiders committed 13 turnovers and recorded team totals of 16 assists, 13 steals and six blocked shots, while WHS ended with 19 turnovers, five assists, three steals and one rejection.
The Silver and Black shot 28-of-79 (35.4 percent) from the field, including 4-of-20 (20 percent) from beyond the arc, while Wellston was 10-of-55 (18.1 percent) from the field, including 5-of-32 (15.6 percent) from three-point range. At the foul line, River Valley was 4-of-7 (57.1 percent), and WHS was 8-of-17 (47.1 percent).
Lauren Twyman was responsible for all-4 RVHS three-pointers and led all-scorers with 20 points, to go with a team-best four assists. Payton Crabtree posted 11 points in the win, Hannah Jacks and Kasey Birchfield added eight apiece, while Sierra Somerville, Kaylee Tucker and Kaylee Gillman scored five, four and three respectively. Savannah Reese, Morissa Barcus and Zoe Milliron had two points apiece to round out the winning total.
RVHS had six players with at least six rebounds, led by Jacks and Reese with seven apiece. Leading the Lady Raider defense, Crabtree had five steals and a block, Jacks added three blocks and a steal, while Tywman claimed four steals.
Daycee Clemons led the Blue and Gold with 13 points, followed by Makenna Kilgour with seven points, six rebounds and four assists. Emma Jadrnicek had six points and five boards for the guests, Haylee Rafferty, Alexis Bouska and Gracie Simpson added two points apiece, while Taylar Spencer ended with one point and six rebounds.
Bouska, Clemons and Jayla Sawyer had a steal apiece for WHS, while Spencer blocked a shot.
River Valley will look for the season sweep of the Lady Rockets when these teams meet on Jan. 16 in Wellston.
After a non-conference game with Southern on Saturday, the Lady Raiders will finish their three-game homestand with a league game against Nelsonville-York on Monday.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.