BIDWELL, Ohio — The difference came down the stretch.
The River Valley boys basketball team used a 41-34 run over the final 16 minutes of regulation to remain unbeaten during a 71-65 victory over visiting Symmes Valley in a non-conference matchup on Tuesday night in Gallia County.
The Raiders (2-0) found themselves in a small 17-14 hole after one quarter of play, but the hosts trimmed that deficit down to a single point at the break before making their victorious second half surge.
Down 31-30 at the break, the Silver and Black looked to Jordan Lambert to help lead the second half charge — and the 6-foot-6 senior didn’t disappoint after scoring 20 of his game-high 31 points after halftime.
Lambert was joined by Dylan Fulks in scoring eight points apiece during a small 20-18 third quarter push that gave RVHS a slim 50-49 edge entering the finale.
Lambert then scored a dozen points in the finale — including a 4-of-5 effort at the free throw line — as part of a 21-16 stretch run that ultimately gave the Raiders a 2-possession triumph.
The Vikings (0-1) held Lambert to just two points in the opening frame while jumping out to an early 17-14 lead, but the River Valley senior countered with nine points during a 16-14 second quarter run that resulted in a 31-30 deficit at the intermission.
The Raiders netted 30 total field goals — including three 3-pointers — and also went 8-of-16 at the free throw line for 50 percent.
Lambert made a dozen field goals — including one trifecta — and also went 6-of-9 at the charity stripe en route to his game-high 31 points.
Fulks was next with a career-high 18 points, while Jance Lambert and Chase Barber respectively added seven and five markers.
Trae Russell and Mason Rhodes were next with four points apiece, while Kade Alderman completed the winning tally with two markers.
SVHS made 25 total field goals — including four trifectas — and also went 11-of-18 at the charity stripe for 61 percent.
Luke Leith paced the Vikings with 30 points, with 15 of those coming in each half. Josh Ferguson was next with eight points, while Grayson Walsh and Drew Scherer each chipped in seven markers.
Levi Best followed with six points and Caden Brammer added five points, while Logan Justice rounded things out with two markers.
River Valley returns to action Friday when it welcomes South Gallia in a battle of unbeatens. The non-conference tilt between Gallia County programs will begin at approximately 7 p.m.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.