Lady Raiders push past Bulldogs

By Paul Boggs -

THE PLAINS, Ohio — It’s probably safe to assume that Miss Jackson wasn’t sorry.

River Valley’s Erin Jackson that is.

That’s because Jackson, in pouring in a game-high 20 points including 11 in the decisive fourth quarter, spearheaded the visiting Raiders to a 42-35 victory over the Athens Bulldogs on Monday night inside McAfee Gymnasium in The Plains.

With the win, River Valley is now 2-4 — and 2-0 in the Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division.

The loss left the Bulldogs at 1-5 — and 0-2 in the league.

The triumph was also a nice bounce-back for the Raiders, which lost to Parkersburg on Saturday by 57 points in the Wellston Lady Rockets Classic.

Jackson, the senior, jump-started a run of nine unanswered fourth-period points —scoring three field goals before Jaden Neal nailed a three-pointer, putting River Valley ahead 34-28.

With the Raiders then leading 38-33 and two minutes and 22 seconds to play, Maggie Campbell corralled an offensive rebound — and found Jackson wide open at the top of the key for a contest-cinching three-pointer.

In a close encounter throughout, River Valley led 6-5 following the first quarter — and 13-8 at halftime.

In fact, Jackson and Jessica Steele scored six points apiece in the half — and at least eight apiece through the first three quarters.

But Athens amassed 19 third-period points to the Raiders’ 12, and actually staked a 27-25 advantage entering the fourth.

The Bulldogs busted four threes in the frame — two apiece by Laura Manderick and Emma Harter.

However, the Raiders responded by outscoring Athens 17-8 in the final stanza, including 11 alone by Jackson.

Besides Neal’s three, Beth Gillman garnered three points in the fourth.

Despite River Valley shooting only 33-percent (17-of-52), making 4-of-11 free throws and committing 23 turnovers, the Raiders stymied Athens into even colder shooting.

The Bulldogs made just 10-of-43 for 23-percent, including only 6-of-24 from three-point range

Athens also committed 20 turnovers, and sank just 9-of-19 from the free-throw line.

Jackson finished with nine field goals and a free throw, while Neal netted two second-half treys and two third-quarter freebies for eight.

Steele scored all eight of her markers through the first three quarters —on four field goals.

Gillman added the club’s only other triple in the third.

The Lady Raiders, which won the rebounding battle 45-28, broke a 24-24 tie in that department — grabbing 21 of the final 25.

Jackson ripped down a game-high 15, as Campbell collected 11, Neal nine and Steele seven.

Manderick and Harter hit four field goals, including three trifectas apiece, to lead the Lady Bulldogs with 15 and 13 points respectively.

Manderick drained 4-of-6 free throws, while Harter had 2-of-4.

The Lady Raiders return to TVC-Ohio action on Thursday night — when they host Alexander.

Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106

By Paul Boggs