BIDWELL, Ohio — It was all going well until the finale.
The River Valley boys basketball team — which fell at Vinton County by a 68-47 count on Dec. 13 — was eight minutes away from avenging that loss on Saturday in Gallia County, but the visiting Vikings closed the game with a 20-to-7 run for a 53-47 victory in Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division play.
River Valley (5-13, 1-8 TVC Ohio) was up 13-8 eight minutes into play, and still had a five-point lead at the half, with each team scoring 15 in the second quarter. In the first half, the Raiders doubled up Vinton County (12-5, 6-2) on the glass, earning a 24-to-12 rebounding edge.
The Silver and Black added two points to its lead in the third, outscoring the Vikings 12-to-10 in the quarter for a 40-33 edge headed into the finale.
Vinton County’s game-clinching run featured a 12-of-16 performance from the foul line.
In the 53-47 setback, RVHS had a 42-to-24 rebounding advantage, including 15-to-8 on the offensive end. However, the Raiders committed 27 turnovers, a dozen more than the Vikings.
Two of River Valley’s 18 field goals came from beyond the arc, and the Raiders sank 9-of-16 (56.3 percent) foul shots. Meanwhile, VCHS was 13-of-20 (65 percent) at the foul line and had six of its 17 field goals come from deep.
Brandon Call was responsible for both Raider triples and finished with 18 points. Jordan Lambert tallied 15 in the setback, Dylan Fulks added six, while Jordan Burns came up with three. Cole Young and Chase Caldwell contributed two points apiece for the hosts, while Mason Rhodes chipped in with one.
Lance Montgomery led the guests with 16 points, followed by Eli Radabaugh with nine. Gavin Arbaugh and Aaron Stevens scored eight apiece in the win, Zayne Karr added five, while Braylon Damron and Will Arthur had three apiece. Rounding out the winning tally, Boomer Herrold scored one point.
River Valley continues TVC Ohio play on Friday when Athens visits Bidwell.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.