ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — One to grow on.
The Meigs boys basketball team — which features zero seniors — ended the year on a high note, defeating Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division guest River Valley by a 57-47 count in the season finale for both teams on Monday night inside Larry R. Morrison Gymnasium.
The Marauders (10-14) scored the first seven points of the game and never relinquished their lead. The Raiders (5-17) cut their deficit as low as three in the opening quarter, but trailed 16-11 by the conclusion of the stanza.
River Valley scored the first four points of the second quarter, but Meigs responded with an 8-2 run that featured a pair of three-pointers. The Raiders hit two triples of their own in the final two minutes of the half, trimming the MHS lead to 24-23 at the break.
In the opening 5:50 of the second half, the Marauders held RVHS without a field goal and extended their lead to nine points, at 34-25, with a 10-2 run. The Raiders hit a three-pointer to move to within six, but MHS scored five unanswered points and headed into the fourth with a 39-28 edge.
In the first six minutes of the fourth quarter, Meigs extended its lead to a game-high 15 points, at 51-36. The Raiders ended the game with an 11-6 run that featured a trio of three-pointers.
“With all of the festivities and everything on senior night, sometimes you come out a little flat, and I thought we really did energy-wise,” said fourth-year MHS head coach Ed Fry. “That’s what we talked about at halftime. Plus, we shot zero free throws in the first half, that’s our game and I challenged them at the half to get to the free throw line. We ended up shooting 14-of-18, so I thought that was huge.”
In addition to shooting 77.8 percent from the foul line, the Marauders shot 19-of-45 (42.2 percent) from the field, including 5-of-10 (50 percent) from three-point range. RVHS shot 18-of-53 (34 percent) from the field, including 7-of-25 (28 percent) from deep, while hitting 4-of-6 (66.7 percent) foul shots.
Meigs outrebounded the Silver and Black by a 31-to-26 count, with both teams grabbing nine offensive boards. The Maroon and Gold also earned advantages of 12-to-11 in assists, 8-to-3 in steals and 2-to-1 in blocked shots. The Marauders turned the ball over 10 times, while RVHS gave the ball away 11 times.
MHS sophomore Weston Baer led the winning side with 22 points and four assists, followed by Zach Bartrum with 12 points and four assists. Nick Lilly hit a team-best three trifectas en route to 11 points to go with seven rebounds.
Wyatt Hoover scored four points in the win, Wes Smith and Austin Mahr added three apiece, while Bobby Musser had two markers. Hoover and Musser tied for a team-high with eight rebounds each. Lilly led the MHS defense with three steals, followed by Musser with a pair of blocks.
RVHS was led by Jarret McCarley, who hit three triples on his way to team-highs of 15 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Layne Fitch also made a trio of three-pointers and he finished with 13 points, while Dustin Barber chipped in with 10 points.
Chase Caldwell and Darian Peck had five and four points respectively, with Peck grabbing seven rebounds. McCarley also led the Raider defense with two steals, while Fitch blocked a shot.
This is the fourth straight year the Marauders have finished with a double-digit win total.
“It’s huge, going 10-5 in the last 15, after an 0-9 start and everything in the world happening to us,” Fry said of getting to double-digit wins. “These kids are gritty, they’re resilient and they come to practice everyday eager and ready to go. They’re an intelligent group, you can tell by the way we’ve been finishing games that they’re smart out there, doing what we need to do.
“We have a great bunch of kids to work with, they need a good offseason in the weight room. I got to thinking the other day, when we have the banquet we give a most improved award, who do I give that to? We have 4-or-5 kids that are deserving of that, they’ve improved so much.”
This is the final game in the Silver and Black for River Valley seniors Dustin Barber, Patrick Brown, Kyle Coen and Jarret McCarley.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.