IRONTON, Ohio — Both teams caught a glimpse of shooting stars, but only the Flyers had their wish come true.
Ryan Payne poured in a game-high 40 points — 26 of which came in the first half — while leading host Ironton Saint Joseph to an 86-73 victory over the River Valley boys basketball team on Wednesday night in a non-conference matchup in Lawrence County.
The visiting Raiders (5-16) managed to keep pace for the better part of three quarters as the Flyers (15-5) were clinging to a 3-point lead headed into the finale.
The Purple and Gold, however, hit 9-of-11 free throw attempts down the stretch as part of a 26-16 charge that ultimately wrapped up the 13-point outcome.
Payne poured in 13 points in the opening frame as ISJHS jumped out to a slim 19-18 edge, then Payne added another 13 points in the second canto.
Jordan Lambert countered with 15 second quarter points for RVHS, but the Flyers used a 24-21 run to take a 43-39 lead into the intermission.
Lambert — who had 23 points at the break — added another half-dozen points during an 18-17 third quarter spurt that allowed the guests to close to within 60-57 headed into the finale.
Both teams hit a trio of trifectas in the final eight minutes, but the hosts tacked on twice as many 2-point baskets as the Raiders (4-2). The guests also made only 3-of-5 charity tosses in the fourth period.
River Valley outrebounded the Flyers by a 29-25 overall margin, but the hosts managed a slim 7-6 edge on the offensive glass. RVHS also committed 20 of the 30 turnovers in the contest.
The Silver and Black netted 25 total field goals — including eight trifectas — and also went 15-of-21 at the free throw line for 71 percent.
Lambert led RVHS with 35 points, followed by Brandon Call with 16 points and Mason Rhodes with 10 markers. Dylan Fulks also chipped in six points in the setback.
Chase Caldwell was next for River Valley with three points, while Jordan Burns and Cole Young respectively rounded things out with two points and one point.
Ironton Saint Joseph made 30 total field goals — including a dozen 3-pointers — and also sank 14-of-19 charity tosses for 74 percent.
J.C. Damron followed Payne with 17 points, with Matthew Sheridan and Zach Roach each adding nine points each. Jimmy Mahlmeister and Jared Johnson completed the winning tally with seven and four markers, respectively.
River Valley returns to action Friday when it travels to Albany for a TVC Ohio contest against Alexander at 7 p.m.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.