BIDWELL, Ohio — Wrapping up the year with a bang.
The River Valley boys basketball team forced 30 turnovers, scored the first 24 points of regulation and snapped an eight-game losing skid in the process of a convincing 70-12 victory over visiting Federal Hocking on Friday night in a non-conference matchup in Gallia County.
The Raiders (2-8) were simply dominant in the wire-to-wire win as the hosts held the Lancers (0-10) scoreless until the almost midway point of the second quarter. Jared Hawk hit two free throws with 4:19 left in the half to make it a 24-2 contest.
RVHS followed with an 8-0 run before Hawk added two more free throws at the 1:38 mark for a 32-4 lead, then the hosts tacked on seven more consecutive points for their largest lead of the first half at 39-4 with 17 seconds remaining.
After missing their first 19 shot attempts and committing 18 turnovers, FHHS finally made its first field goal with just 1.8 seconds left as Hawk converted a layup and an and-one free throw attempt — which made it a 39-7 game headed into the break.
The Maroon and Gold — who entered the game averaging just 25.6 points per game — were never closer the rest of the way.
River Valley — which netted 17-of-42 field goal attempts in the first half — opened the third quarter with a 10-0 run in the opening two minutes, but Brandon Gould converted a basket at the 5:50 mark to cut the deficit down to 49-9.
The Silver and Black answered with a 14-1 surge to close out the third period, giving the hosts a resounding 63-10 cushion headed into the finale.
The Raiders closed regulation with a small 7-2 run to wrap up the 58-point triumph, which also served as the largest lead of the night.
RVHS — which had allowed at least eight trifectas in each of its last six outings — finished the night by allowing only three total field goals, including no three-pointers. The hosts also had eight different players reach the scoring column.
Fed Hock, conversely, was held under 18 points for the fifth time in 10 outings this year. The dozen points scored also matched a season low for the guests, who also dropped a 56-12 decision to Alexander in the season opener.
It was hardly a quality win, but when you’ve dropped eight in a row — it’s just good to be back on the positive side of an outcome.
However, for first-year RVHS coach Bryan Drummond, it was a night full of positives as his troops prepare for the stretch run that leads to the postseason.
“They’ve worked hard all year, so tonight was no different, but we’ve just run into some bad luck, some injuries and we’ve played some really good teams early on,” Drummond said. “I thought we did some really good things tonight, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. We did a good job of getting good shots and executing our offense, which allowed us to really pick it up on the defensive side of things.
“We really needed a night like this and I was really proud of the effort. It’s a good way to finish up the year and take some momentum into 2017.”
The Raiders made 9-of-17 three-point tries for 53 percent and finished the night 28-of-69 from the field for 41 percent.
The hosts outrebounded the Lancers by a sizable 50-21 overall margin, including a gaudy 23-4 edge on the offensive glass. The Silver and Black also committed only 13 turnovers in the game, eight of which came in the first period.
Jacob Dovenbarger led River Valley with four trifectas and a game-high 29 points in roughly three quarters of work. Dovenbarger also earned a double-double in the triumph with 11 rebounds.
Dustin Barber was next with nine points, followed by Brandon Call and Jacob Campbell with respective efforts of eight and seven markers.
Ian Polcyn chipped in six points and hauled in 11 rebounds, while Tre Craycraft added five points. Rory Twyman and Chase Caldwell completed the winning tally with three points apiece.
RVHS was only 5-of-13 at the free throw line for 38 percent, while Fed Hock went 6-of-7 at the charity stripe for 86 percent.
The Lancers netted only 3-of-37 field goal attempts for eight percent, which included misses on all nine of their attempts from behind the arc.
Hawk led the guests with seven points, all of which came in the second canto. Gould and Tyler Wilson each netted two markers, while Deakin Hatfield completed the scoring with one point.
Dillon Wilfong led FHHS with five rebounds.
Note: The boys basketball game between River Valley and Ohio Valley Christian scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 5, has been moved to Saturday, Jan. 7. Tip-off is still scheduled for 7 p.m. at OVCS.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.
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