WELLSTON, Ohio — A tough start … in a few different ways.
Host Wellston jumped out to a 17-7 first quarter lead and ultimately never looked back Saturday afternoon during a 62-47 victory over the River Valley boys basketball team in a Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division matchup in Jackson County.
The Raiders (8-7, 3-6 TVC Ohio) were playing in their first full game since losing leading scorer Jordan Lambert to an injury, and the guests struggled to find any kind of offensive rhythm early on.
Evan Brown poured in eight points for the Golden Rockets (9-8, 3-6) in building a double-digit first quarter edge, then WHS used a 17-11 push in the second frame to secure a 34-18 advantage at the break.
Mason Rhodes — who scored 10 first half points for RVHS — poured in seven points during the third canto, but the Blue and Gold still made a 16-12 push while extending their lead out to 50-30 entering the finale.
Rhodes added another 11 points down the stretch as the Silver and Black closed regulation with a 17-12 run to complete the 15-point outcome.
Wellston outrebounded RVHS by a sizable 42-16 overall margin, including a 12-4 edge on the offensive glass. The guests committed only 10 of the 26 turnovers in the game as well.
River Valley made 17 total field goals — including eight trifectas — and also went 5-of-9 at the free throw line for 56 percent.
Rhodes led the guests with a game-high 28 points, followed by Chase Barber with seven points and Kade Alderman with six markers. Braden McGuire and Ethan Schultz completed the scoring with four and two points, respectively.
RVHS starter Dylan Fulks also did not play in the contest.
Wellston netted 21 total field goals — including four 3-pointers — and also went 16-of-24 at the charity stripe for 67 percent.
Brown paced the Rockets with 17 points, followed by Cyan Ervin with 13 points and Hunter Smith with 10 markers. Garrett Brown and Gunner Harmon respectively added eight and seven points as well.
Eston Riley was next with five points, while R.J. Kemp completed the winning tally with two points.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.