ALBANY, Ohio — A second half slump.
The River Valley girls basketball team trailed defending Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division champion Vinton County by just five points at halftime of Saturday’s contest in the inaugural TVC Turn it Gold Classic at Alexander High School, but the Lady Raiders wound up falling to the Lady Vikings by a 65-34 final tally.
River Valley (2-3, 0-2 TVC Ohio) held leads of 2-0 and 5-3 in the opening stanza, but VCHS (4-0, 2-0) took the edge for good at 7-5. The Lady Vikings were up 21-12 by the end of the opening stanza, and stretched the lead to 26-14 by the midway point of the second period. The Silver and Black ended the half with a 7-0 run, and headed into halftime down 26-21.
Vinton County scored 11 of the first 13 points in the second half and led 37-23 with 5:15 left in the third period. The Lady Raiders outscored VCHS 8-to-7 over the remainder of the quarter, and trailed 44-31 with eight minutes to play.
The Lady Vikings sealed the 65-34 victory with a 21-to-3 fourth quarter, with their largest lead of the night as the 31-point final margin.
River Valley claimed a 35-to-33 rebounding edge, despite VCHS winning the offensive rebounding battle by a 13-to-11 tally. For the game, RVHS committed 30 turnovers, and had team totals of seven blocked shots, six assists and three steals. Meanwhile, Vinton County turned the ball over just nine times, while recording 19 assists, 14 steals and 13 rejections.
The Silver and Black shot 9-of-39 (23.1 percent) from the field, including 2-of-5 (40 percent) from three-point range, while the Lady Vikings made 27-of-74 (36.5 percent) field goal tries, including 6-of-24 (25 percent) three-point attempts. At the foul line, RVHS was 14-of-21 (66.7 percent) and VCHS was 5-of-8 (62.5 percent).
The Lady Raider offense was led by Hannah Jacks with 13 points and three assists. Payton Crabtree ended with seven points in the setback, Kasey Birchfield added five points and a team-best eight rebounds, while Lauren Twyman came up with three markers. Savannah Reese and Sierra Somerville had two points apiece, with Somerville grabbing seven rebounds, while Brooklin Clonch and Kaylee Tucker finished with one point each.
Jacks also led the RVHS defense with three rejections, while Reese, Birchfield and Crabtree each claimed a steal.
Morgan Bentley led Vinton County with 20 points and nine rebounds. Tegan Bartoe was next with 17 points, followed by Myriah Davis with 13 points and five assists. Zoey Kiefer contributed six points to the winning cause, Cameron Zinn added five points and eight boards, while Josie Ousley and Lacie Williams chipped in with two points each.
Leading the VCHS defense, Bentley, Davis and Zinn each recorded four steals, while Williams rejected three shots.
River Valley and Vinton County are scheduled to meet again on Feb. 3.
After returning to Albany to face Alexander on Monday, the Lady Raiders will be back home on Thursday against Wellston.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.