BIDWELL, Ohio — A remarkable comeback, but the Lady Buckeyes had an answer.
The River Valley girls basketball team erased a 14-point second half deficit, taking a one-point lead over guest Nelsonville-York with 1:49 left in Tuesday’s Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division bout in Gallia County. However, the Lady Buckeyes scored six unanswered points and escaped with a 52-47 victory in the season finale for both squads.
The Lady Buckeyes (7-16, 5-7 TVC Ohio) hit seven field goals in the opening quarter, and were ahead 16-6 eight minutes into play.
River Valley (11-10, 6-6) got as close as six points in the second period, but the guests were back up by 10, at 27-17, by halftime.
NYHS started the second half with a 6-to-2 spurt, and led by 14 points with five minutes left in third quarter. The Silver and Black went on a 10-to-4 run over the rest of the stanza, and trailed 37-29 with one quarter to play.
River Valley outscored the Orange and Brown 14-to-9 over the first four minutes of the fourth quarter, and tied the game at 46 on a three-pointer by Lauren Twyman with 3:33 left.
Sierra Somerville hit a free throw at the 1:49 mark, giving the Lady Raiders a 47-46 lead, but Kaina Hernandez got the advantage back for NYHS with a two-pointer 35 seconds later. Cayleigh Dupler gave the guests a three-point lead with a put-back basket with 44 seconds left in the game, and then Alivia Speelman sank a pair of game-clinching free throws with 5.9 seconds left.
In the 52-47 setback, RVHS made 17 field goals, including one three-pointer. Meanwhile, the Lady Buckeyes connected on 21 field goals, five of which came from beyond the arc. The Silver and Black were 12-of-25 (48 percent) from the foul line, where NYHS made 5-of-11 (45.5 percent).
Hannah Jacks led the Lady Raiders with 17 points, nine of which came in the fourth quarter. Twyman was next with 11 points, followed by Somerville with eight and Morrisa Barcus with six. Abbigail Browning and Allie Holley tallied two points apiece for the hosts, while Emma Truance chipped in with one marker.
Leading the Lady Buckeyes, Speelman scored 19 points, Brooklyn Richards added 10, and Ashleigh Cantrell scored seven. Hernandez and Airah Lavy both claimed five points in the win, while Dupler and Haylie Bishop earned three apiece.
The season series will finish as a tie, as RVHS won 48-30 on Jan. 7 in Nelsonville.
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Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.