BIDWELL, Ohio — A slow start led to a tough finish for the River Valley girls basketball team Thursday night following a 62-28 setback to visiting Fairland in an Ohio Valley Conference matchup in Gallia County.
The host Lady Raiders (3-3, 1-1 OVC) never led in the contest, as the Lady Dragons (6-1, 2-0) stormed out to a 16-0 edge five minutes into regulation and never looked back.
RVHS scored its first points of the night at the 2:10 mark of the first quarter after Chelsea Copley hit a trifecta for a 16-3 deficit. Fairland ultimately finished the period on a 5-2 run to claim a 21-5 edge after eight minutes of play.
River Valley went over six minutes without a point, and the Lady Dragons extended their lead out to as much as 38-5 with just under four minutes left until halftime.
Two Copley free throws at the 3:26 mark allowed the hosts to end a 6:14 scoreless drought, which also sparked 6-3 run over the final three minutes of the first half — making it a 41-11 contest at the break.
The Lady Raiders were never closer than 28 points the rest of the way, which came at the 4:33 mark of the fourth quarter at 54-26. FHS went on a 6-5 spurt in the third quarter for a 47-16 lead, then closed regulation with a 15-12 run to wrap up the 34-point triumph.
Fairland — which has now won three straight decisions — twice led by 34 points, with the first coming at the 6:23 mark of the fourth at 52-18.
RVHS — which went 10-of-16 at the free throw line for 63 percent — made only eight field goals in the setback, two of which were three-pointers. Copley led the hosts with 12 points, followed by Courtney Smith with five points and Mikayla Pope with four markers.
Tiana Qualls, Bailey Adkins and Leia Moore each contributed two points apiece, while Rachael Smith rounded things out with one marker.
Terra Stapleton — a University of Michigan signee — and Mackenzie Riley each had 12 points over three quarters of play for Fairland, while Kelsey Riley and Chandler Fulks respectively added nine and eight markers.
The Lady Dragons made 26 field goals overall, including five threes, and went 5-of-9 at the charity stripe for 56 percent.