BIDWELL, Ohio — Already amid a difficult situation, the Silver and Black were literally — and figuratively — seeing red on Saturday thanks to “Green”.
That’s because Jackson junior Rebekah Green poured in 24 points, and the visiting Ironladies amounted a 52-38 non-league girls basketball victory over the River Valley Lady Raiders.
The win was the Ironladies’ first of the season in three tries, while the Lady Raiders remain winless at 0-3.
Saturday also marked the Lady Raiders’ home opener — and the second head coaching contest for Stephen Roderick.
Roderick — who took over the Lady Raiders following their first game a week ago — replaces Ashley Davies, who was forced to step down due to a family illness.
Davies was beginning her first season as the River Valley varsity mentor, but never coached a game after being called away from the team during Thanksgiving weekend.
Indeed, it’s been a tough 10 days for the entire RVHS program.
“Coach Davies was doing a fine job. She had a family illness she is attending to and obviously that is the most important thing. We all feel for her. It was getting the team in a tough situation. In taking over the team, it’s been really fast-paced, but the girls and the school have been really good at giving me every resource I need and trusting me and helping us keep building on what Coach Davies had already put forth,” said Roderick. “It’s going to be a lot of work, but these players are doing a phenomenal job of trusting me and are willing to work. It’s going to be tough for a little while, but they have accepted that. I’m real happy with the girls and their attitudes.”
Against the Ironladies, though, they were constantly plagued by turnovers — which Jackson converted into several easy points.
“It’s a tough situation, but we fought hard the whole game and didn’t let the bad situation just surmount into something that really got out of hand,” said Roderick. “We still need skill work, and I’m still learning who can do what. We didn’t take good care of the ball, but that is something that we can continue to work on.”
Jackson never trailed, Green scored the opening 10 points for the Red and White, and the Ironladies led 14-4, 32-9 and 46-15 after each of the opening three quarters.
The Ironladies’ largest lead stood at 52-17 with 5:42 to play, after back-to-back field goals by Emily Brown and Raylene Hammond.
However, over the game’s final five minutes and 12 seconds, the Lady Raiders — bolstered by their full-court press that forced several Jackson turnovers — scored the final 21 points to make the final tally much more respectable.
In fact, Maggie Campbell’s three-pointer that beat the buzzer gave River Valley its smallest deficit since a 19-6 hole at the 5:25 mark of the second quarter.
But the opening three periods — and the first 30 seconds of the final frame — belonged completely to the Ironladies, which got seven field goals and a perfect 10-of-10 free throws from the standout point guard Green.
She dropped in five first-quarter field goals — for all 10 Jackson points in the first 3:25.
Green tacked on another bucket apiece in the middle two stanzas, while making 4-of-4 free throws in each period — prior to her 2-of-2 foul shots to open the fourth quarter.
After those two freebies, and with Jackson firmly in command 48-15, Green and fellow guard Amelia Davis came out of the game for good.
Davis, on a first-quarter deuce followed by two threes, added eight points — while Emily Brown bagged two treys and 2-of-2 free throws towards 10.
Marley Haynes hit field goals for Jackson in the first and third quarters, as Olivia Carroll and Mariah Ridgeway each had field goals in the second.
Jessica Steele led the Lady Raiders with a dozen points on six field goals, while Erin Jackson — on five field goals — and Jaden Neal — on three field goals and 2-of-2 free throws — each added 10.
Campbell chipped in a fourth-quarter two before her buzzer-beating trey, as Cierra Roberts rounded out the scoring by splitting a pair of fourth-quarter free throws.
River Valley didn’t score until the 4:10 mark of the first period, when Jackson trimmed the deficit to 8-2.
The hosts never got any closer, though, as Neal notched her pair of free throws with 19 tics left in the canto.
Besides Steele scoring with two minutes and 35 seconds gone by in the second frame, Neal knocked down her first of two threes with five seconds to play in the half.
Trailing 39-9 midway through the third, the Lady Raiders scored six straight points in a span of 52 seconds — on buckets by Neal, Jackson and Steele.
Neal’s other triple came with 3:05 to play, making the deficit a reciprocal 52-25.
Steele scored eight and Jackson six in the final eight minutes.
The Lady Raiders return home, and open Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division action, on Thursday against Wellston.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106