BIDWELL, Ohio — A little rusty at the start, but they turned it around and got the win.
In its first game of the month, the River Valley girls basketball team rallied from 14 points down for a 41-37 victory over Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division guest Athens on Thursday in Gallia County.
The Lady Raiders (2-1, 1-0 TVC Ohio) led initially, but the Lady Bulldogs (1-5, 0-3) took the lead at 8-7 on a two-pointer by Kianna Benton with 1:43 left in the opening period.
Athens was up 13-9 at the end of the first quarter and then scored 10 in a row to start the second. RVHS was held scoreless for the first 5:31 of the second period, but ended the stanza with a 10-to-2 run, trimming the AHS lead to 25-19 at the break.
River Valley continued chipping away at the deficit at the third quarter, outscoring Athens 11-to-7, leaving the guests with a 32-30 edge to start the fourth.
The Silver and Black took the lead at 33-32 on a three-pointer by Sierra Somerville 2:27 into the finale, and the hosts never trailed again. Athens came up empty on eight straight possessions to start the fourth, in which time RVHS stretched its lead to 39-32. River Valley hit 2-of-5 free throws down the stretch, but held AHS to just five points, securing the 41-37 victory.
For the game, Athens claimed a 38-to-30 rebounding edge, including 14-to-8 on the offensive end. The Lady Raiders turned the ball over 15 times, while the Green and Gold gave the ball away 20 times, with eight turnovers in the fourth quarter.
The hosts combined for nine steals, eight assists and one rejection, while Athens recorded nine assists, eight steals and five blocked shots.
The Silver and Black were 15-of-53 (28.3 percent) from the field, including 2-of-9 (22.2 percent) from three-point range, while the Lady Bulldogs were 15-of-54 (27.8 percent) from the field, including 3-of-23 (13.0 percent) from deep. At the foul line, RVHS was 9-of-18 (50 percent), while AHS was 4-for-10 (40 percent).
Somerville — who responsible for both of the Lady Raiders’ three-pointers — led the hosts with 15 points and seven rebounds, scoring a dozen points after halftime.
Hannah Jacks posted 14 points and a team-best five assists in the win, Lauren Twyman contributed seven points and a team-high four steals, while Morrisa Barcus claimed five points and the team’s lone rejection.
Haylie Mills led the guests with a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds, to go with a game-best three rejections. Kianna Benton and Kesi Federspiel scored seven points apiece in the setback, Harper Bennett tallied five, while Annika Benton recorded two points, along with team-highs of five steals and three assists.
These teams are set to meet again on Jan. 28 in The Plains.
River Valley will be back in action on Monday at Meigs.
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Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.