BIDWELL, Ohio — An old problem in the new year.
The River Valley boys basketball team committed 26 turnovers in its first contest of 2013 Friday night, and visiting Coal Grove took advantage of those costly mistakes during a 53-36 victory in an Ohio Valley Conference matchup in Gallia County.
The Raiders (2-6, 0-3 OVC) survived 12 first half turnovers en route to a small 17-16 edge at the intermission, but the hosts simply weren’t as lucky in the second half — as the Hornets (7-2, 2-1) flipped nine third quarter takeaways into a 19-5 surge and a 35-22 lead headed into the finale.
RVHS again pulled to within 13 points (43-30) with 4:33 left in regulation, but Coal Grove closed the game with a 10-6 run to wrap up the 17-point decision.
The Raiders trailed all but the final 2:11 of the first half, as CGHS stormed out to a 14-6 advantage after eight minutes of play. Both teams also had five turnovers apiece in the opening canto.
River Valley had seven giveaways in the second canto, but the hosts countered with quite the defensive stand. Coal Grove missed its first seven shots and went just 1-of-14 from the field in the second canto, allowing the Raiders to go on an 8-2 run to pull within 16-14 with 2:57 left in the half.
Tyler Twyman gave the Raiders their only lead of the night with a trifecta at the 2:11 mark, capping an 11-2 charge for a slim one-point lead at the break.
River Valley made 8-of-20 field goal attempts in the opening half, while CGHS sank 7-of-26 shot attempts while committing only six turnovers.
The third quarter proved to be the difference maker, as the Hornets answered the bell with a 13-1 run en route to a 29-18 lead with 2:13 left in the period. The guests — who went 8-of-18 from the field in the third — closed things out with a small 6-4 spurt to take a 13-point cushion into the finale.
RVHS made just 2-of-6 field goal attempts in the third quarter to go along with its nine turnovers, which allowed Coal Grove a dozen extra shot attempts in the frame.
The Hornets — who had only 12 giveaways in the game — closed the fourth with an 18-14 run and twice led by as many as 29 points, the last of which came with 43 seconds left at 53-34. CGHS also led 51-32 with 1:05 remaining in regulation.
Afterward RVHS coach Jordan Hill acknowledged his team’s defensive effort, but he couldn’t help but point out that mistakes once again nullified such a solid showing.
“It was probably one of the best defensive efforts we’ve given all year, holding a team to 16 points in the first half,” Hill said. “However, we had 12 turnovers in the first half and 26 for the game. Like I’ve said before, we cannot win many games while turning the ball over that much. We have to attack pressure, not turn away from it.”
The Raiders connected on 15-of-38 field goal attempts for 39 percent, including a 1-of-7 effort from three-point range for 14 percent. The hosts were also 5-of-11 from the free throw line for 45 percent.
Ethan Dovenbarger led RVHS with 12 points, followed by Burnie Stanley with eight points and Joseph Loyd with five markers. Seann Roberts and Tyler Twyman respectively added four and three points, while the duo of Jacob Gilmore and Justin Rusk rounded out the scoring with two markers each.
The Hornets made 20-of-56 shot attempts overall for 36 percent, including a 5-of-18 effort from three-point territory for 28 percent. The guests were also 4-of-11 at the charity stripe for 36 percent.
Connor Markins paced CGHS with a game-high 19 points, followed by Brandon Adkins with 16 points and Alex Bare with eight markers.