BIDWELL, Ohio — Simply put, Alexander pressed the issue.
That’s because the visiting Lady Spartans, forcing several River Valley turnovers with their sweltering full-court press, converted multiple steals into transition points — and easily captured a 67-24 Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division girls basketball victory on Thursday night.
The Lady Spartans scored the game’s opening seven points, and defensively trapped and stole their way to a lead that only extended as the contest went along.
Alexander amassed advantages of 21-6 following the first quarter, 37-10 at halftime, and 52-16 after the third period.
The Lady Spartans’ largest lead — with a minute-and-a-half remaining and with 14 seconds left — stood at 65-22 and the final score of 67-24.
Alexander’s Taylor Meadows made a field goal and Mallory Raines registered two free throws for those final points.
With the win, the Lady Spartans remained perfect atop the TVC-Ohio at 3-0, part of 5-2 overall.
The loss left the Lady Raiders at an opposite 2-5, as they slipped to 2-1 in the league.
Alexander ended up with 27 total field goals, 23 of which were inside the arc — while River Valley made 12 deuces and no treys.
The Raiders also did not attempt a single free throw, while the Lady Spartans sank all nine of their attempts.
Alexander’s Alexis Mohler, only 28 seconds in, made a three-pointer off the wing — as she then scored two more baskets to make it 7-0 only a minute and 50 seconds gone by.
The Lady Raiders finally got on the scoreboard at the 5:52 mark — when Jaden Neal netted a shot off a Beth Gillman assist.
After Alexander scored again, Erin Jackson drove in from the left side and scored, making it 9-4 at the three-minute mark — but River Valley would creep no closer the remainder of the way.
The Spartans then scored eight unanswered points, and 12 of the final 14 in the quarter — as Jessica Steele scored off a Jackson assist with eight seconds remaining.
In the second stanza, the Lady Raiders’ only markers were a Gillman field goal at the 3:45 point, and a Maggie Campbell basket three-and-a-half minutes later.
In the third frame, Jackson’s jumper landed in only 43 seconds into the period, but she injured her right knee on the shot — and missed the remainder of the quarter.
Alexander amounted the next 11 points to lead 50-12, before a pair of Cierra Roberts buckets for River Valley — with 42 seconds left and again at the buzzer.
The Lady Raiders’ fourth-quarter points came on four more field goals — Steele at 4:45, Neal at four minutes even, and finally a pair by Jackson with 2:20 and 32 seconds to play.
Leah Richardson paced the Lady Spartans, scoring a dozen points on the strength of two twos and two threes.
Rachel Richardson (11 points), Jala Mace (10 points), Lexi Whitney (eight points) and Mohler (nine points) also made four field goals —as Rachel Richardson had three free throws, along with two apiece by Leah Richardson and Mace.
Kristen Taylor tallied three field goals for six points, and McKena Rice recorded two field goals for four.
Makaela Trout tacked on a triple to round out the Spartans’ scoring.
River Valley returns home, and steps out of conference action, on Monday night when it hosts Coal Grove.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106