MERCERVILLE, Ohio — Just as good as the original, but this sequel provided a much different ending.
The South Gallia boys basketball team shot 60 percent from the field and ultimately held on down the stretch while claiming a 67-62 victory over visiting River Valley in a non-conference matchup of Gallia County programs.
The Rebels (8-4) found themselves in a quick hole as the Raiders (7-4) jumped out to a quick 10-2 edge, but the hosts countered with a 10-2 run of their own and ended the first quarter deadlocked at 12-all.
Both teams traded leads before ending up at a 17-all tie two minutes into the second frame, but the Red and Gold made a 15-10 surge and secured a 32-27 edge headed into the break.
SGHS — which shot 50 percent from the field in the first half — went 9-of-11 from the floor in the third frame, but only won the canto by a 21-17 margin as the hosts took a 53-44 advantage into the finale.
Jance Lambert buried a 3-pointer a minute into the fourth while completing a quick 5-0 spurt, trimming the RVHS deficit down to 53-49.
Andrew Small, however, converted a free throw just moments later that sparked a quick 5-0 run and pushed the Rebel lead back out to 58-49.
The Raiders made a small 8-7 push to close to within 65-59 with 50 seconds left in regulation, then the Silver and Black had three consecutive offensive rebounds on missed 3-pointers before Chance Lambert nailed a fourth opportunity. The successful trifecta made it a 65-62 contest.
South Gallia — which struggled in the fourth quarter to make free throws — sank 2-of-4 attempts in the final 30 seconds and ultimately wrapped up the 5-point triumph.
RVHS went just 3-of-15 from 3-point territory over the course of the fourth quarter, but the Rebels netted only 6-of-15 charity tosses over that same time frame — which allowed things to remain competitive down the stretch.
SGHS managed to avenge a 54-44 setback to these same Raiders in Bidwell just one week earlier. The Rebels shot a better overall percentage in that first matchup, but also committed 17 of the 25 turnovers in the matchup.
This time around, the Red and Gold still had 17 turnovers — but also forced 14 mistakes in the process. River Valley won the battle on the boards by a 29-26 overall margin, including 18-8 on the offensive glass.
The Rebels — who made 22 of their first 36 shot attempts — ended up netting 26-of-43 field goal tries for 60 percent, including a 7-of-14 effort from behind the arc for 50 percent. The hosts also went 7-of-18 at the free throw line for 39 percent.
Brayden Hammond led SGHS with a game-high 26 points, with all but two of those coming in the fourth quarter. Jaxxin Mabe was next with 25 points, while Layne Ours — who did not play in the first meeting — followed with seven markers.
Andrew Small contributed four points, while Ethan Bevan and Tristan Saber each added two points. Blaik Saunders completed the winning tally with one point.
The Raiders made 24-of-62 field goal attempts for 39 percent, including a 9-of-28 performance from behind the arc for 32 percent. The Silver and Black also netted 5-of-8 charity tosses for 63 percent.
Mason Rhodes paced RVHS with 23 points, all of which came in the first three periods of play. Jordan Lambert was next with 16 points, while Jance Lambert followed with 12 markers.
Dylan Fulks and Chase Barber completed the Raider tally with six and five points, respectively.
South Gallia returns to action Friday when it travels to Waterford for a TVC Hocking matchup at 7 p.m.
The Raiders also play on Friday as they head to Albany for a TVC Ohio contest against Alexander at 7 p.m.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.