BIDWELL, Ohio — Better late than never.
The River Valley boys basketball team shot 54 percent from the field and picked up its first-ever win over Chesapeake as a member of the Ohio Valley Conference Friday night following a stunning 58-55 decision in Gallia County.
The Raiders (4-12, 2-4 OVC) — who are participating in their final season in the OVC before joining the Tri-Valley Conference next fall — made the most of their final home contest against the Panthers, as RVHS shot 61 percent through three quarters of play and led the final 14:22 of regulation.
Chesapeake (10-6, 3-4) — which shot just 35 percent overall in the contest — trailed by as many as 13 points in the third canto, but the guests stormed back to within a point with less than two minutes left in regulation.
The Raiders came up clutch at the free throw line down the stretch, as they hit 4-of-6 in the final 1:34 of the fourth — allowing the Silver and Black to sneak away with its first win over CHS since joining the league in the fall of 2001.
Following the biggest win of his very young career at River Valley, first-year coach Aaron Quinn spoke about the significance of the gutsy performance.
“This is something beyond basketball for us. These young men haven’t always been given a lot of credit for their past efforts, but the effort tonight was truly remarkable,” Quinn said. “To have it all come together against a quality program like Chesapeake, it’s something that couldn’t have even been scripted. I couldn’t be any more prouder of these young men.
“I want our young men to enjoy this win, but I also want them to now understand what they are capable of. We definitely want to continue to move forward from this win.”
There were three ties and 11 lead changes in the contest, all of which came in the first three periods of action. Four lead changes and all three ties also came in the first quarter alone, which ended deadlocked at 11 apiece.
RVHS jumped out to a small 20-19 edge in the second frame, but the guests received a basket from Andrew Saunders at the 3:19 for their final lead of the opening half at 21-20.
The Raiders received eight straight points from Tyler Twyman over the next 1:34, which gave the hosts their largest lead of the first half at 28-21 with 1:45 remaining. Saunders added another field goal 22 seconds later, which wrapped up the first half scoring and allowed River Valley to take a 28-23 edge into the intermission.
The hosts committed 10 turnovers and made 9-of-15 shots in the first half, which included a 4-of-8 effort from behind the arc. Chesapeake, conversely, had four giveaways and sank 10-of-27 field goal attempts before break, including a 1-of-8 effort from three-point range.
River Valley owned a 14-11 rebounding edge in the opening 16 minutes of action, but the guests claimed a 7-3 lead on the offensive glass.
Chesapeake — which never led by more than three points in the contest — scored the first seven points of the third quarter to take its final lead of the night at 29-28 with 6:43 left. Seann Roberts, however, answered with a basket 21 seconds later, allowing the hosts to take a permanent lead at 30-29.
RVHS — which made 17-of-28 shot attempts through three periods of play — followed with a 17-5 surge over the next 5:12, as Twyman capped the run with a trifecta at the 1:10 mark for the Raiders’ biggest lead of the night at 47-34. The Panthers added a basket over the final minute to close to within 47-36 entering the finale.
Chesapeake made the stretch run that everyone had waited for, as the guests went on a 17-7 charge to start the fourth. Gage Rhoades hit a basket with 1:48 left in regulation, allowing CHS to pull to within a point at 54-53.
Twyman hit two free throws and John Qualls tacked on another to increase the lead back out to 57-53, but a Brad Meadows basket with 35 seconds left again allowed Chesapeake to close to within a possession at 57-55.
Qualls tacked on the front end of a 1-and-1 with 3.9 seconds remaining, but the second rimmed out and fell into the hands of Chesapeake player before a quick timeout was called. CHS inbounded the ball and managed a heave from beyond half court, but the game-tying attempt came up short — allowing River Valley to secure the rare triumph.
The Raiders connected on 20-of-37 shot attempts overall, which included an 8-of-14 effort from three-point range for 57 percent. The hosts committed 20 turnovers and were outrebounded by a 33-28 overall margin, including 19-7 on the offensive glass.
Tyler Twyman led the victors with a game-high 32 points, which included eight trifectas — including one in each quarter of play. Seann Roberts was next with eight points, while John Qualls and Justin Rusk added six markers apiece.
Andrew Moffett contributed four points to the winning cause, while Dayton Hardway rounded the scoring out with two markers. RVHS was 10-of-16 at the free throw line for 63 percent.
The Panthers sank 23-of-66 field goal tries for 35 percent, including a 3-of-20 effort from behind the arc for 15 percent. The guests had 10 turnovers and went 6-of-10 at the charity stripe for 60 percent.
Caleb Heffner paced CHS with 16 points, followed by Aaron Thompson and Brad Meadows with 12 and 10 markers, respectively.