LOGAN, Ohio — From winless to a winning streak.
The River Valley girls basketball team trailed New Lexington by a single point at the end of the first quarter on Monday night, but a 20-3 second quarter surge helped guide the Lady Raiders to a 41-23 victory in a Southeast District Division II sectional quarterfinal contest at Jim Myers Gymnasium on the campus of Logan High School.
The Silver and Black earned their second consecutive win of the 2017-18 campaign on the heels of ending a 37-game losing skid with a 68-29 victory over Point Pleasant on Saturday, Feb. 10.
RVHS (2-20) made 2-of-16 shot attempts in the first period, but the Lady Panthers (1-20) also struggled from the field as they converted on just 2-of-12 shot attempts to take a 5-4 advantage into the second quarter.
Over the course of 3:39 of the second frame, the Lady Raiders manufactured a 14-0 run to take a 18-5 lead. New Lexington made only one field goal over the span of eight minutes as the Silver and Black held a 24-8 advantage at intermission.
River Valley built its 16-point lead at the midway point by way of a 10-of-35 shooting performance from the field, including 3-of-10 from beyond the arc. The Lady Raiders collected 24 rebounds and committed 11 turnovers.
The Lady Panthers made 3-of-32 field goals, including a 0-of-7 effort from three-point range. NLHS gathered 23 rebounds and had 11 giveaways.
New Lexington began the scoring in the third quarter, but River Valley utilized a 10-6 run to take a 34-14 lead into the finale.
The Lady Panthers outscored the Lady Raiders 9-7 over the final eight minutes of play, but the Silver and Black’s early momentum in the contest was enough to secure the 18-point victory.
“We took care of the ball better,” River Valley head coach Stephen Roderick said following the game. “That’s something we’ve struggled with this season. We were able to minimize turnovers in the beginning.
“Now this is two in a row. I’m just really happy for the girls. They won a tournament game. They’ve got two wins late in the season — it’s been a long road. For them to go winless for so long and then win two games in a row, it says a lot about the girls and their character.”
River Valley converted on 18-of-70 shots from the field for 25 percent, including 3-of-16 from three-point range for 18 percent. RVHS pulled down 46 rebounds and committed 23 turnovers in the contest.
Kelsey Brown led the way for the Lady Raiders with 11 points. Beth Gillman was next with 10 markers, including two trifectas.
Hannah Jacks followed with seven points, while Kaylee Gillman provided six markers.
Cierra Roberts had one trifecta, while Jaden Neal and Savannah Reese rounded out the scoring with two points apiece, respectively.
New Lexington made 7-of-53 shot attempts from the field for 13 percent, including a 0-of-13 effort from long distance. The Lady Panthers gathered 37 rebounds and committed 22 turnovers. NLHS was also 9-of-16 from the charity stripe for 56 percent.
Maggie Skillman finished with a game-high 17 points. Kenadee Dillon was next with four markers, while Brooke Lehman rounded out the scoring with two points.
With the win, River Valley advances to face top-seeded Vinton County on Wednesday in the sectional semifinal. Tipoff at Myers Gymnasium is scheduled for 6:15 p.m.
Scott Jones can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106.
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