BIDWELL, Ohio — When the fourth quarter came, the Lady Vikings played their best.
The River Valley girls basketball team led Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division guest Vinton County by three points after three quarters, on Thursday night in Gallia County. However, the Lady Vikings outscored their host 21-to-9 over the final eight minutes, as VCHS stormed to the 48-39 victory.
The Lady Vikings (10-12, 6-6 TVC Ohio) led by a 5-2 count, midway through the first quarter, but River Valley (2-20, 2-10) answered with a 9-0 run, giving the Lady Raiders a six-point lead with 1:30 left in the first.
VCHS scored the final five points of the first quarter and the first five points of the second quarter, giving the Lady Vikings a 14-11 lead with five minutes left in the half. Vinton County led by as much as six in the period and led 22-18 at halftime.
The Lady Vikings expanded their lead to seven points, with a trifecta to open the second half. However, River Valley answered with an 11-0 run, giving the hosts a 29-25 lead by the midway point of the third quarter.
Neither team made a field goal over the final four minutes of the third, with VCHS sinking two free throws and River Valley making one from the stripe, to make the Lady Raider lead 30-27 headed into the fourth.
Both teams scored four points over the first 1:30 of the final quarter, the Lady Vikings on a pair of two-pointers and River Valley on four free throws.
In just over three minutes, the Lady Vikings scored 13 straight points, storming into the lead, at 44-34. The guests lead by as much as 12 in the final quarter, with Lady Raiders not sinking their first field goal of the period until the final minute.
Vinton County was just 5-of-14 from the free throw line in the fourth, but went 7-of-15 from the field to seal the 48-39 victory.
For the game, VCHS was 17-of-58 (29.3 percent) from the field, including 6-of-28 (21.4 percent) from three-point range. Meanwhile, River Valley was 12-of-56 (21.4 percent) from the field, including 3-of-12 (25 percent) from deep. From the free throw line, RVHS shot 12-of-15 (80 percent), while Vinton County was 8-of-20 (40 percent).
Vinton County held a 47-to-35 rebounding advantage, including 14-to-11 on the offensive glass. River Valley won the turnover battle by a narrow 24-to-21 clip, while holding a 10-to-7 assists advantage. The Lady Vikings claimed a 13-to-12 steals advantage, while both teams recorded one rejection.
The Lady Raiders were led by Erin Jackson with 17 points, 13 of which came in the second half. Beth Gillman and Jaden Neal both scored eight points for the Silver and Black, while Jessica Steele added six points.
Steele led the hosts on the glass with 11 rebounds, followed by Maggie Campbell with 10. Steele also had team-highs of three assists and one blocked shot, while Campbell marked a game-best five steals.
VCHS was led by Cassie Bentley with a double-double of 17 points and 16 rebounds, to go with the team’s lone rejection.
Josie Ousley scored 10 points for the guests, Erin Jones added nine points and two assists, while Darin Radabaugh had five points, two assists and a team-best four steals. The VCHS scoring was rounded out by Tyra Prater and Kendall Fee with four and three points respectively.
Vinton County also defeated the Silver and Black on January 12, by a 55-42 count, in McArthur.
The Lady Raiders will head into the tournament with a 16-game losing skid and will be seeded eighth. RVHS faces ninth-seeded Westfall on Wednesday, at Athens High School.
Vinton County also starts its postseason next, as the sixth-seeded Lady Vikings will take on third-seeded Fairfield Union on Thursday, at Logan High School.
Prior to Thursday night’s game, River Valley honored seniors Erin Jackson, Maggie Campbell and Jessica Steele, as well as senior manager Beverly Hess, as part of Senior Night.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.