BIDWELL, Ohio — You have to hold onto the rock.
The River Valley girls basketball team learned that the hard way in a 49-38 home loss to the Athens Lady Bulldogs in a Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division matchup Monday evening.
The Lady Bulldogs (1-7, 1-2 TVC Ohio) started Monday’s game on a 5-0 run.
Towards the middle of the first quarter, both teams run into trouble turning the ball over.
The Lady Raiders (4-3, 1-3) took advantage of a nearly 4-minute long Athens scoring drought by tying the game up 9-9 towards the end of the first quarter.
However, the Lady Bulldogs scored the last two points of the quarter, going into the second with a slim 11-9 lead.
Turnovers continued to be a problem for both squads in the second quarter, with both teams intercepting passes and stealing the ball.
The Silver and Black tie the game up on a couple occasions, but cannot get into the lead themselves.
The Lady Raiders take many shots from behind the 3-point line, but apart from their very first try, those shots aren’t landing.
After holding onto a 18-13 lead with a couple minutes left until halftime, the visitors tack on three more points before the Lady Raiders ended the second by finally connecting once more from 3-point land, heading into the locker rooms down 21-16.
River Valley started the second half by slowly making their way up the scoreboard, tying the score twice before getting the lead themselves.
However, the Lady Bulldogs powered back, resulting in the two teams trading points and leads.
Athens’ first 3-pointer came at a crucial time, helping them extend the lead they ended up holding onto for the rest of the game.
Another thing working against the home team were fouls, with the Lady Bulldogs getting into the bonus late in the third quarter.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Lady Bulldogs had a 36-31 lead.
The Lady Raiders attempted a comeback, but run into trouble getting around the Athens defense.
Luckily, the River Valley defense also hung tough, limiting the Lady Bulldog offense.
The Lady Bulldogs hit some clutch shots toward the end of the game, getting a 9-point lead with under four minutes to go.
Ultimately, the Silver and Black were unable to get back into contention.
In shots, the Lady Raiders led in 3-pointers 5-2, and the Lady Bulldogs led in field goals 14-8.
The back-breaker for the Lady Raiders were free throws, with Athens more than doubling their total 15-7.
Leading the Lady Raiders in scoring was senior Lauren Twyman, who had two 3-pointers, four field goals and two free throws for a total of 16 points.
There was a 3-way tie for second, with seniors Brooklin Clonch and Morrisa Barcus and freshman Carlee Manley each getting six points.
Rounding out the River Valley scoring were Haylee Eblin with two points, Emma Truance with one point and Kallie Burger with one point.
Haylie Mills led the Lady Bulldogs in scoring, netting four field goals and three free throws for 11 points.
In rebounds, the Lady Raiders had 30, led by Twyman with seven.
The Lady Bulldogs had 45 boards, led by Mills with 10.
The Lady Raiders will be back in action at 5:15 p.m. Saturday when they host Spring Valley.
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Colton Jeffries can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.