BIDWELL, Ohio — A rewarding comeback and a heartbreaking letdown, much like the tournament atmosphere that surrounded this early season thriller.
Visiting Southern overcame an 8-point fourth quarter deficit to force overtime, then scored the first eight points of the extra session before ultimately cruising to a 75-63 victory over the River Valley boys basketball team on Tuesday night in a non-conference matchup in Gallia County.
The Tornadoes (4-1) battled the host Raiders (1-3) through seven ties and 14 lead changes over the course of regulation, with neither squad leading by more than two possessions after the first three periods of play.
RVHS, however, got an Ethan Schultz trifecta six seconds into the fourth canto, which gave the Silver and Black the largest lead of regulation at 54-46.
SHS countered with a quick 5-0 spurt that also resulted in Jance Lambert’s fourth personal foul, which trimmed the deficit down to 54-51 with 6:45 remaining.
Aiden Hill netted 1-of-2 free throws with 1:41 left to cut the lead down to 58-56, then Hill was fouled on a contested 3-pointer that led to a disqualifying fifth personal foul on Mason Rhodes with 34.5 seconds left to go.
Hill calmly sank all three free throw attempts for a 59-58 edge, but Schultz countered with another 3-pointer with 16 seconds showing — allowing River Valley to again secure a 61-59 edge.
Linoln Rose was fouled on the interior during Southern’s ensuing possession, and Rose knocked down both free throw attempts with 1.4 seconds showing to again knot the contest at 61-all.
Lambert took the following inbounds pass and bounced a 3-quarters court heave off of the vertical extension that holds the backboard in place.
The ball bounced just above the backboard — which is out of bounds — while hitting the extension pole, causing an odd spin that allowed the ball to fall straight down into the hoop. The goal was not allowed, and a 61-all contest was headed for another four minutes of play.
The Raiders went 0-for-8 from the field and 3:21 without a point in that extra session, all while the Purple and Gold reeled off eight straight points and closed the game with a 14-2 surge to complete the 12-point triumph.
River Valley held the largest first half lead of five points and was ahead 31-28 at the intermission. Southern led once by four points in the opening 16 minutes and owned a 14-13 edge after one stanza of work. The hosts also led 51-46 through three complete.
The Tornadoes outrebounded RVHS by a 38-31 overall margin, including a 13-10 edge on the offensive glass. SHS also committed only 11 of the 26 turnovers in the contest, while the Raiders made 11 of those miscues after halftime.
SHS made 23-of-58 field goal attempts for 40 percent, including an 8-of-26 effort from behind the arc for 31 percent. The guests were also 21-of-30 at the free throw line for 70 percent.
Cade Anderson led Southern with a game-high 25 points, followed by Rose with double-double effort of 22 points and 11 rebounds.
Hill and Cruz Brinager also added 11 points apiece to the winning cause. Damien Miller was next with five markers and Tanner Lisle completed the winning tally with one point.
Miller hauled in seven caroms for the guests, while Hill and Brinager each snagged six boards.
The Raiders netted 26-of-63 shot attempts for 41 percent, including a 6-of-23 performance from 3-point range for 26 percent. The hosts were also 5-of-9 at the charity stripe for 56 percent.
Kade Alderman paced River Valley with 23 points and six rebounds, followed by Lambert with 15 points and five boards. Schultz and Rhodes each chipped in 11 points and five caroms in the setback.
Kaden Thornton contributed three points for the hosts, while Braden McGuire and Gary Truance rounded things out with two markers apiece.
Southern returns to the hardwood Friday when it welcomes Federal Hocking for a TVC Hocking matchup at 7 p.m.
River Valley is back in action Friday when it hosts Meigs in a TVC Ohio contest at 7 p.m.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.