THE PLAINS, Ohio — You just can’t give your opponent a head start like that.
The River Valley boys basketball team trailed by 17 points after eight minutes of play on Friday in McAfee Gymnasium, where the Raiders dropped a 79-51 decision to Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division host Athens.
River Valley (0-3, 0-1 TVC Ohio) was held to just five points in the opening quarter, with the the Bulldogs (1-3, 1-0) scoring 22 in stanza.
Athens carried the momentum into the second period, outscoring the Raiders by a 24-15 count to make the margin 46-20 by halftime.
AHS outscored River Valley by a point apiece in each of the final two periods — 14-to-13 in the third and 19-to-18 in the fourth — to seal the 79-51 triumph.
For the game, Athens led advantages of 37-26 in rebounding, 19-to-9 in assists and 12-to-8 in steals. River Valley committed 18 turnovers, twice as many as the Green and Gold. Both teams recorded a trio of blocked shots in the contest.
River Valley shot 19-of-48 (39.6 percent) from the field, including 5-of-17 (29.4 percent) from three-point range. Meanwhile, Athens was 30-of-59 (50.8 percent) from the field, including 8-of-19 (42.1 percent) from deep. From the free throw line, RVHS was 8-of-13 (61.5 percent), while AHS was 11-of-14 (78.6 percent).
Dustin Barber led the Silver and Black with 14 points, followed by Jarret McCarley with 12 points and eight rebounds. Rory Twyman scored eight points, Jordan Lambert and Matthew Mollohan each added seven, while Jordan Burns scored three points.
Layne Fitch contributed a team-best three assists to the Raider cause, Barber and Kyle Coen came up with two steals apiece, while McCarley, Lambert and Patrick Brown blocked one shot each.
Eli Chubb led the Bulldogs with a double-double effort of 25 points and 10 rebounds. Justin Hynes scored 16 points for the victors, Dalton Cozart added 14, while Elijah Williams had eight points and four assists. Isaiah Butcher scored six points for AHS, Logan Maxfield and Austin Koska added four apiece, while Braydon Markins chipped in with two.
Maxfield recorded a game-high four steals for the hosts, while Chubb, Hynes and Butcher blocked a shot apiece.
The Silver and Black will be out for revenge when the Bulldogs visit Bidwell on Feb. 9.
After a non-conference tilt with Southern on Saturday, River Valley will get back to work in the league with Vinton County visiting on Tuesday.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.