Golden Rockets get past River Valley, 54-41

By Alex Hawley -

WELLSTON, Ohio — One quarter can just ruin an entire night.

The River Valley boys basketball team was outscored 23-to-6 in the third period on Friday night in Jackson County, leading host Wellston to a 54-41 victory in Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division play.

The Golden Rockets (5-13, 3-6 TVC Ohio) scored the first nine points of the game, but the Raiders (5-12, 1-7) cut the margin to two points, at 11-9, by the end of the opening stanza.

RVHS tied it at 11 with a Mason Rhodes two-pointer at the start of the second quarter, and then Brandon Call hit a trifecta to give the Raiders a 14-11 advantage.

Wellston tied it three times, and then finally regained the lead at 21-20 on a Hunter Smith three-pointer with 2:21 remaining. The hosts never trailed again, scoring four more points before break for a 25-20 halftime lead.

WHS claimed six of the first eight points in the second half, but back-to-back buckets by the Silver and Black cut the margin to 31-26. Wellston, however, ended the period with a 17-0 run, featuring a quartet of three-pointers.

Down 48-26 at the start of the fourth, RVHS fought back to within 10 points, at 51-41, but couldn’t complete the comeback and fell by a 54-41 tally.

River Valley won the rebounding battle by a 34-30 clip, but committed 18 turnovers, two more than WHS. The Raiders combined for 11 steals, five assists and two blocks, while the Blue and Gold ended with 14 steals, 11 assists, and a block.

The Silver and Black sank 16-of-47 (34 percent) field goal attempts, including 3-of-19 (15.7 percent) three-point tries, while Wellston was 21-of-48 (44.6 percent) from the field, including 7-of-18 (38.8 percent) from deep. At the foul line, River Valley made 6-of-10 (60 percent) and the Golden Rockets were 5-of-14 (35.2 percent).

Leading the Raiders, Jordan Lambert had 18 points and seven rebounds, while Call claimed 15 points and eight boards, hitting all-3 of the team’s three-pointers. Chase Caldwell recorded four points and two assists in the setback, while Rhodes and Cameron Hess scored two points each, with Rhodes also picking up two assists.

The River Valley defense was led by Caldwell with three steals, and Lambert with two blocks.

Cyan Ervin led the Golden Rockets with 16 points, nine of which came from beyond the arc. Hunter Smith and R.J. Kemp were next with 15 points apiece, followed by Josh Bodey with four points and a game-best 10 rebounds. Jordan Carey and Rylan Molihan rounded out the winning tally with three points and one point respectively, with Molihan recording game-highs of five assists and five steals.

WHS also won its first meeting with River Valley, escaping Bidwell with a 41-38 triumph on Dec. 17.

After Saturday’s meeting with Vinton County, RVHS will host Athens on Friday.

By Alex Hawley

Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.

Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.