Raiders struggle at Jackson, 46-28

By Bryan Walters -

JACKSON, Ohio — A tough night on the road.

River Valley never led and shot 22 percent from the field Tuesday night during a 46-28 setback to host Jackson in a non-conference boys basketball contest in Jackson County.

The visiting Raiders (1-1) managed to keep things close in the opening quarter, as both teams were deadlocked at four until freshman Cooper Donaldson netted a 30-footer at the buzzer — giving the Ironmen (1-0) a permanent lead at 7-4 after eight minutes of play.

JHS followed with a 7-1 run to open the second quarter for its largest first half lead at 14-5, but River Valley answered with a small 5-4 run over the final four minutes of the half to close to within 18-10.

RVHS closed to within five points (22-17) with 2:17 left in the third and were again down by a 29-24 count following a Dustin Barber trifecta with 5:35 remaining in regulation, but the guests ultimately never came closer.

Jackson — which led 26-19 entering the fourth — went 18-of-27 at the free throw line as part of a 20-9 run during the fourth quarter, allowing first-year JHS coach Max Morrow to win his first varsity contest.

The Raiders were 8-of-36 from the field overall, which included a 2-of-17 effort from 3-point range for 12 percent. The guests were outrebounded by a 31-25 margin, committed 18 turnovers, and also went 10-of-14 at the free throw line for 71 percent.

Jacob Dovenbarger led RVHS with a double-double effort of 14 points and 12 rebounds, followed by Barber with five points and Kirk Morrow with four markers. Jarrett McCarley and Dayton Hardway rounded out the tally with two points and one point respectively.

Donaldson paced the Ironmen with 22 points and 15 rebounds, followed by Kendall Neal with seven points and Nick Burd with six markers. Carson Spohn and Peyton Speakman respectively added five and three points, while Dakota Nichols and Devon Webb rounded things out with two points and one point.

Jackson netted 10-of-36 field goal attempts for 28 percent, including a 3-of-15 effort from behind the arc. The hosts committed 11 turnovers and went 23-of-37 from the charity stripe for 62 percent.

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.

By Bryan Walters