JACKSON, Ohio — Early runs can often pay dividends later.
The River Valley boys basketball team fell behind early in its Southeast District Division III sectional semifinal game on Tuesday night, as a 9-0 run by South Point set the momentum for the fifth-seeded Pointers en route to a 57-45 victory at Jackson High School.
The Raiders (5-16) were held without a field goal for the opening three minutes of the contest, but the Silver and Black battled back to cut the deficit to one point at the end of the first period.
SPHS (10-13) made 5-of-11 field goal attempts in the first quarter, including 1-of-5 from beyond the arc to take a slight 15-14 edge into the second period.
The River Valley’s woes continued over the span of the second frame as they shot just 3-of-16 from the field — including 1-of-6 from long distance.
In contrast, the Blue and Yellow utilized a 15-7 run to carry a 30-21 advantage into the intermission.
River Valley made 7-of-26 shots for 26 percent in the first half, including 3-of-11 from three-point range. The Raiders collected 14 rebounds and committed six turnovers.
South Point countered with a 13-of-29 performance from the field for 44 percent, including 2-of-8 from beyond the arc. The Pointers gathered 15 rebounds and had four giveaways.
RVHS managed to cut the deficit to three points by way of a 7-of-14 shooting performance in the third period. The Raiders made a 15-9 run over the span of eight minutes while shortening the Pointers’ lead to 39-36 as play entered the finale.
SPHS, however, withheld the late push by the Silver and Black as they utilized a 16-9 run to close out the 12-point win.
The Silver and Black finished with a 17-of-55 performance from the field for 30 percent, including 5-of-21 from three-point range for 23 percent. RVHS also collected 24 rebounds and committed 13 turnovers.
Jarret McCarley led the way with 19 markers, including two trifectas and a perfect 3-of-3 performance from the charity stripe.
Dustin Barber followed with nine points, while Layne Fitch added six markers.
Jordan Lambert and Patrick Brown were next with four markers and three points each, respectively.
Rory Twyman and Matt Mollohan concluded the scoring for RVHS with two markers apiece.
South Point made 21-of-50 field goals for 42 percent, including 2-of-11 from beyond the arc for 18 percent. The Pointers gathered 34 rebounds and made 12 turnovers in the contest.
Austin Webb finished with a game-high 22 points. Roger Staggs followed with 12 markers and Jared Whitt chipped in 10 points.
Douglas Shaffer added eight markers, while Chance Gunther rounded out the scoring with five markers.
With the victory, South Point advances to face Alexander on Feb. 24 in Jackson. The win served as the second victory over RVHS for the Pointers during the 2017-18 campaign having earned a previous victory by a final of 78-51 at home.
River Valley has one remaining conference game left against Meigs, which will be played on a yet-to-be-determined date.
Scott Jones can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext 2106.