McARTHUR, Ohio — The hole was simply too big to climb out of.
The River Valley boys basketball team surrendered at least 20 points in each of the first three periods while dropping its 16th straight league decision on Friday night during a 68-47 setback to host Vinton County in a Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division contest.
The visiting Raiders (2-3, 0-2 TVC Ohio) put a team-best 15 points on the board in the opening canto, but the Vikings (4-1, 1-0) — behind six points apiece from Will Arthur and Braylon Damron — still owned a 2-possession lead of 20-15 through eight minutes of play.
The Maroon and Gray ultimately never looked back from there as VCHS hit four trifectas in the second frame — same as in the first period — as part of a 20-13 charge that gave the hosts a 40-28 cushion at the break.
Vinton County made its strongest push in the third canto as seven different players contributed to a 23-9 surge that all but sealed the deal on things with a 63-37 lead entering the finale.
Chad Brewer and Chase Barber each scored five points in the fourth as the Silver and Black closed regulation with a 10-5 run that wrapped up the 21-point outcome.
RVHS outrebounded the hosts by a 38-32 overall margin, but the Vikings claimed a 15-13 edge on the offensive boards. The Raiders also committed 23 of the 34 turnovers in the contest.
The guests netted 20 total field goals — including three 3-pointers — and also went 4-of-5 at the free throw line for 80 percent.
Jordan Lambert paced River Valley with 15 points, 13 of which came in the opening half. Brandon Call was next with 10 points, while Brewer and Barber tacked on five markers apiece.
Cole Young and Mason Rhodes were next with four points each, with Chase Caldwell and Dylan Fulks completing things with two points apiece.
Vinton County made 27 total field goals — including nine trifectas — and also made 5-of-7 charity tosses for 71 percent.
Gavin Arbaugh led the hosts with a game-high 18 points, followed by Arthur and Damron with a dozen markers each. Lance Montgomery also hit double figures with 11 points.
Zayne Karr and Aaron Stevens were next with four points apiece, with Eli Radabaugh chipping in three points. Randall Matteson and Arden Peck finished the winning tally with two markers each.
River Valley — which has now dropped two straight decisions — returns to action Tuesday when it hosts Wellston in a TVC Ohio contest at 6 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.