BELPRE, Ohio — Another slow start made it more tough sledding for the Lady Raiders.
Hindered by falling behind 17-6 following the opening quarter, visiting River Valley could not climb of that early hole —and eventually lost 61-44 to the Belpre Golden Eagles on Monday night in a non-league girls basketball tilt.
After that initial jolt, the Golden Eagles only outscored the Lady Raiders 32-25 in the middle two periods, pushing ahead 32-19 at halftime and 49-31 following three frames.
It was River Valley’s third loss in nine days against Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division competition —which also includes against Federal Hocking on Jan. 7, and at South Gallia in double overtime on Saturday (Jan. 14).
The loss left the Raiders at 2-13, while Belpre raised its record to 11-4.
Unfortunately for River Valley, it was another sputter to a beginning quarter.
The only Lady Raider first-period points were on baskets by Erin Jackson and Jaden Neal —and 2-of-4 free throws by Beth Gillman.
Jackson finished with a team-high 20 points — on eight total field goals and 2-of-3 third-quarter free throws.
Jessica Steele, on a fourth-quarter bucket and 9-of-14 free throws, added 11 points.
Neal netted two baskets and 2-of-2 freebies for seven points, as Jackson drilled two threes while Neal notched one.
Savannah Reese, on a pair of second-half field goals, rounded out the Silver and Black with four points.
The Raiders did make 15-of-25 free throws, but Belpre held a 21-14 advantage in total field goals —including an 8-3 edge in treys.
Four of those triples belonged to Cheyenne Barker —who poured in 24 points on five total field goals and 10-of-12 free throws.
Abby Lefatch and Trinidy King canned three buckets apiece for seven points, with both knocking in a three-pointer.
Alexandria Williams, with three deuces, and Kyanna Ray —with two trifectas —each scored six.
The Lady Raiders return to the road, and return to TVC-Ohio Division action, on Thursday night at Wellston.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106