BIDWELL, Ohio — It’s not how you start, but how you finish.
The Meigs basketball team missed its first 13 shots Saturday night, but the Marauders rallied to shoot 15-of-31 (48.4 percent) from that point on, taking the 35-33 victory over River Valley in Gallia County.
The Raiders (3-17) defensive intensity was key early on, as they held Meigs (9-9) to just one point in the opening quarter. River Valley marked 10 in the first period but was held to just seven points in the second. Meigs scored nine points in the second canto and trailed 17-10 at halftime.
The Marauders came out of the half with new life, out scoring RVHS 15-to-3 in the third period to take the 25-20 advantage. The Silver and Black rallied back to tie the game on three separate occasions in the fourth period but they couldn’t take the lead and Meigs held on for the 35-33 victory.
“They are learning the mental toughness part of the game and I’m extremely proud of them,” said Meigs coach David Kight. “They could have easily just folded in the first half and they didn’t and that’s a testament to how though they have become, how hard they’ve worked and how bad they really want to succeed at the game.”
Meigs was led by Dillon Boyer with 12 points, all of which came after halftime. Kaileb Sheets marked seven points, Treay McKinney added six, and Cody Stewart had four in the triumph. Matt Casci and Jared Williamson rounded out the MHS scoring with three points apiece.
The Marauders pulled down 22 rebounds on the night led by Ty Phelps with seven. Phelps had two of Meigs’ five assists, while Sheets led the way with three of the teams 12 steals. MHS committed 19 turnovers on the night, while shooting 4-of-9 (44.4 percent) from the free throw line. Meigs shot 15-of-44 (34.1 percent) from the field, including 1-of-5 (20 percent) from three point range, with Matt Casci making the lone MHS triple.
“The biggest stat for us in the first half was that we had 21 rebounds, we said if we can match that or get close to that in the second half then everything will take care of itself,” River Valley coach Jordan Hill said. “In the second half I don’t think we reached that number. We had a scoring drought in the third quarter and we’ve had those throughout the season. I don’t care how good of defense you’re playing when you have a drought like that you’re tying your hands behind your back.”
Seann Roberts led RVHS with seven points, followed by Joseph Loyd, Tyler Twyman and John Qualls with six points apiece. Ethan Dovenbarger had four points, while Jacob Gilmore and Justin Rusk each marked two, rounding out the RVHS scoring.
River Valley pulled down 29 rebounds on the night, 21 in the first half, while committing 21 turnovers in the game. The Raiders shot 3-of-7 (42.9 percent) from the free throw line and 13-of-38 (34.2 percent) from the field, including 4-of-13 (30.8 percent) from beyond the arc. Twyman and Qualls each hit a pair of triples for the Silver and Black.
Meigs also defeated River Valley on December 8th by a count of 52-41 at Larry R. Morrison Gymnasium.