Mustangs knock out Raiders in OT

By Paul Boggs -

THE PLAINS, Ohio — As it turned out, the Lady Raiders were not welcome to join Wednesday night’s free-throw parade.

Despite River Valley’s Erin Jackson pouring in a game-high 28 points, the Lady Raiders could not overcome the Westfall Lady Mustangs’ regular trips to the foul line — as River Valley fell 65-57 in overtime in a Division III girls basketball sectional semifinal at Athens High School’s McAfee Gymnasium.

By benefiting from the double bonus, ninth-seeded Westfall scored 10 of its 14 overtime points at the stripe, while the Raiders shot just one free throw in the extra session.

As a result, the Lady Mustangs outscored eighth-seeded River Valley 14-6 in the extra period — as the Raiders saw a 49-46 lead with two-and-a-half minutes remaining in regulation evaporate.

Westfall rallied with five unanswered points over the next two minutes, and led 51-49 with 26 seconds to play.

The Lady Raiders did tie the tilt and force overtime at 51-51, but only got a pair of baskets from Jackson and one from Cierra Roberts in the extra four minutes.

The Mustangs made 10-of-16 free throws in overtime for 62.5-percent, part of 24 charity conversions for the entire game.

River Valley only attempted 11 total freebies, and sank seven including 3-of-4 by Jackson.

With the loss, the Lady Raiders end their long season at 2-21 — with 17 consecutive losses to conclude the year.

Westfall moved to 3-20, and will return to Athens on Saturday for the Division III sectional championship against top-seeded Alexander.

Westfall led 15-12 following the opening quarter, then went into halftime ahead 29-20 on Maddie Kitchen’s buzzer-beating three-pointer.

The Lady Raiders reduced the deficit to 36-33 entering the final canto, and had their highest output with an 18-point fourth quarter to force overtime.

The senior Jackson, on a dozen total field goals including a fourth-quarter three, concluded her RVHS career with 28 critical points.

Jaden Neal notched nine on three baskets and 2-of-2 free throws, while Savannah Reese recorded a pair of trifectas.

Roberts, along with seniors Maggie Campbell and Jessica Steele, registered two field goals apiece for four points.

Beth Gillman, by twice splitting a pair of free throws, rounded out the Silver and Black scoring.

Marcy Dudgeon, on four field goals and 15 made foul shots, poured in 23 points to pace the Lady Mustangs.

Emily Robinson chipped in 15 points, as Madison Staten scored 12 and McKenzie Blue bagged 10.

Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106

By Paul Boggs