ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — A sensational stretch leads to the season sweep.
The Meigs boys basketball team went on a 20-0 run in the middle of Tuesday’s Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division tilt inside Larry R. Morrison Gymnasium, and the Marauders cruised to a 61-48 victory over guest River Valley.
Meigs (8-8, 5-3 TVC Ohio) — which won its first meeting of the season with the Raiders (5-11, 1-6) by a 56-45 tally on Dec. 10 in Bidwell — took its first lead of Tuesday’s game at 5-3 on a Weston Baer three-pointer 3:34 into play.
The Marauder lead grew to 14-8 with 2:00 left in the opening stanza, but River Valley ended the period with an 8-0 run to tie it at 14.
After two scoreless minutes to start the second quarter, Raiders senior Jordan Lambert gave the guests their final lead of the night with a two-pointer at the 5:59 mark. RVHS didn’t score again for over eight minutes, however, with Meigs taking the lead for good on back-to-back buckets from Coulter Cleland.
The Marauders led 25-16 at halftime, and then scored the first nine points of the second half for an 18-point advantage. The hosts hit nine field goals and didn’t commit a turnover during their 20-0 run.
The Raiders ended their drought with a Cole Young three-pointer at the 4:53 mark of the third, but Meigs tallied the next eight points and led by a game-high 23, at 42-19, with 3:29 left in the period.
River Valley scored six of the final nine points in the third and trailed 45-25 headed into the fourth quarter.
The guests — who shot 8-of-13 from the field and 6-of-7 from the foul line in the fourth — made it as close as 10 points, at 55-45, with 1:02 to play. Meigs slammed the door on the comeback attempt, however, hitting 6-of-6 free throws in the final minute to cap off its third straight win.
In the 61-48 triumph, the Marauders enjoyed a 22-to-14 rebounding advantage, including 7-to-4 on the offensive end. The hosts had a dozen turnovers in the game, while RVHS gave the ball away 18 times.
The Maroon and Gold collected 15 assists, eight steals and four blocked shots in the win, while the Raiders combined for 11 assists, eight steals and two rejections.
Meigs made 22-of-43 (51.2 percent) field goal attempts, including 4-of-11 (36.4 percent) three-point tries, while River Valley was 17-of-38 (44.7 percent) from the field, including 6-of-12 (50 percent) from beyond the arc. The Marauders made 13-of-14 (92.9 percent) from the foul line, where the Silver and Black were 8-of-10 (80 percent).
Cleland led the hosts with 23 points, combining six two-pointers, one triple, and eight free throws. The MHS sophomore also recorded game-bests of seven rebounds and six assists.
Baer hit a team-best two three-pointers on his way to 18 points, while also picking up four rebounds and four assists. Bobby Musser posted nine points and four boards in the win, while Ethan Stewart scored seven markers, all in the third quarter. Cameron Burnem rounded out the Marauder tally with four points on four free throws.
Meigs’ defense was led by Musser with three blocks and two steals, and Cleland with two steals and one block.
Brandon Call paced the Raiders with 20 points, featuring a game-best three triples. Young had 12 points and a team-best three assists for River Valley, scoring half of his dozen from beyond the arc. Matt Mollohan had seven points and a team-best four rebounds for RVHS, all coming after halftime.
Mason Rhodes came up with three points in the setback, while Lambert, Chase Caldwell and Jordan Burns finished with two each.
Leading the Raider defense, Caldwell had three steals, and Call earned two steals and two blocks.
Both teams continue TVC Ohio play on Friday, with Athens at Meigs and River Valley at Wellston.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.