POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — It’s not a game of style, just end results.
The River Valley girls basketball team forced 30 turnovers while claiming a season sweep of host Point Pleasant during a 37-16 non-conference victory Thursday night in Mason County.
The visiting Lady Raiders (9-10) led wire-to-wire as the Lady Knights (2-13) missed their first 17 field goal attempts and committed 14 turnovers before Skylar Woodall connected on a field goal at the 1:51 mark of the second canto, allowing PPHS to close to within 9-2.
The hosts, however, were never closer as the Silver and Black ended the half on a 6-2 spurt to secure a 15-4 edge at the break. The Red, Black and White retaliated with a small 5-4 third quarter run to close to within 19-9, but RVHS closed regulation with an 18-7 surge to wrap up the 21-point triumph.
The Lady Raiders — who committed only four of their 12 turnovers in the first half — also posted a 61-9 win over Point Pleasant in Bidwell back on December 19.
Despite shooting only 23 percent from the field, River Valley was in full control of this contest from start to finish. The guests had eight different players reach the scoring column and also held a double-digit advantage over the final 16:26 of regulation.
Third-year RVHS coach Sarah Evans-Moore noted it was far from a perfect effort, but she praised her troops for both their defensive intensity and being able to finish a hard-fought road contest.
“You know, it’s a win and we’ll take it,” Evans-Moore said. “It wasn’t pretty by any means, but our defensive effort was good and we were able to use some of that to help ourselves in transition tonight. That’s something we’ve been needing to get better at over the last few weeks and I thought we showed some real progress with that in the second half.
“We had a lot of kids contribute to this win and everyone was able to get some good minutes in during a road game. We got out of here healthy and can take some momentum into the weekend, so it’s been a good night.”
Point Pleasant committed 15 turnovers in each half — including nine in the first period and 10 in the fourth stanza — while shooting just 13 percent from the field. The hosts were also 0-for-12 from behind the three-point line.
Afterwards, fourth-year PPHS coach John Fields felt that his team may have taken a small step backwards — despite trimming the final deficit by over half in comparison to the first River Valley matchup.
“We’ve been a young team since the first day of the season. We have been progressing, but tonight was just one of those reminders that we are still a young team regardless of how much we’ve grown,” Fields said. “We need to get better at playing in situations throughout the course of the game, rather it be when we need to tighten up the defense and when we need to be more patient on offense.
“We still have a lot of work to put in and we still have a lot of season left to play. Hopefully the girls will continue to work hard so that we can keep improving as we move forward.”
The Lady Knights went 0-for-9 in the opening period as River Valley established a 7-0 lead, then Tianna Qualls extended the lead to nine with an offensive rebound and putback at the 4:48 mark of the second canto.
Both teams traded four points apiece over the next four minutes, but Maggie Campbell netted a jumper with 26 seconds left to allow RVHS to take a double-digit lead into the intermission.
PPHS outrebounded River Valley by a 43-35 overall margin, which included a slim 15-13 edge on the offensive glass. The guests were 10-of-21 at the free throw line for 48 percent, while the Lady Knights netted 6-of-19 charity tosses for 32 percent.
The Lady Raiders connected on 13-of-56 field goal attempts overall, including a 1-of-16 effort from behind the arc for six percent. Qualls led the Silver and Black with nine points, followed by Courtney Smith with eight points and Erin Jackson with six markers.
Campbell and Jaden Neal were next with four points apiece, while Carly Gilmore and Beth Gillman respectively added three and two markers. Leia Moore completed the winning tally with one point. Neal led the guests with nine rebounds and Moore also hauled in six caroms.
Point Pleasant — which made only 5-of-40 shot attempts overall — was led in scoring by Peyton Campbell with nine points, followed by Michaela Cottrill with five points and Woodall with two markers. Cottrill hauled in a game-high 16 rebounds and Lanea Cochran also had 15 boards for the hosts.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.