WELLSTON, Ohio — Tough starts. Tough finish.
Host Wellston claimed a 36-17 advantage in the opening quarters of each half and eventually rolled to a 56-30 victory over the River Valley girls basketball team in a Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division contest on Monday night in Jackson County.
The Lady Raiders (0-19, 0-11 TVC Ohio) struggled out of the gates as the guests fell behind 12-5 after eight minutes of play, then the Lady Rockets (9-10, 3-8) followed with a small 8-6 spurt to take a 20-11 cushion into the intermission.
WHS sealed the deal on the outcome during the third frame with an impressive 24-12 surge, giving the Blue and Gold a sizable 44-23 lead headed into the finale. Wellston closed regulation with a 12-7 run to wrap up the 26-point outcome.
The Lady Rockets also claimed a season sweep after posting a 71-38 decision at RVHS back on Jan. 11.
Wellston outrebounded the guests by a 55-39 overall margin and also committed 15 turnovers, compared to 20 turnovers by the Silver and Black.
River Valley made 10-of-57 field goal attempts for 18 percent, including a 3-of-13 effort from three-point range for 23 percent. The guests were also 7-of-13 at the free throw line for 54 percent.
Jaden Neal and Carly Gilmore paced the Lady Raiders with seven points apiece, followed by Kelsey Brown with five markers. Hannah Jacks and Beth Gillman were next with four points each, with Kaylee Tucker completing the scoring with three points.
Neal hauled in a team-high 10 rebounds, while Jacks and Brown each hauled in eight caroms.
Wellston netted 23-of-62 shot attempts for 37 percent and also went 10-of-19 at the charity stripe for 53 percent.
Sydney Spencer led the hosts with a double-double effort of 24 points and 12 rebounds, followed by Sydney Mullins with 19 points. Tory Doles was next with four points and a team-high 14 rebounds.
Mya Bouska was next with three points, while Megan Vickers and Emily Kisor completed the winning tally with two points each.
River Valley returns to action Thursday when it hosts Vinton County in a TVC Ohio contest at 7 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.