Boys Basketball: Alexander grabs victory over River Valley

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The Alexander Spartans picked up their second consecutive victory Tuesday night, defeating the River Valley Raiders 43-32. The Spartans (4-7, 2-2 TVC) used a strong defensive effort to get the job done in a game where both teams struggled offensively.

The teams went back and forth all game, neither establishing a lead, until late in the fourth quarter when Alexander pulled away with less than two minutes left. After a missed jumpshot from the Raiders (1-10), Alexander’s Chris Wingett pushed the ball up the court and made a tremendous pass to Zach Weffler, who laid it in from the left side.

That bucket put the Spartans up 37-30 with 1:13 to go. After the ensuing timeout, the Spartans held strong on defense and the Raiders were forced to foul after a missed shot.

Freshman point guard Jordan Mosley made up for a rough start to the game with two big buckets early in the fourth quarter to put the Spartans on top for good.

Alexander outscored the Raiders 7-5 in what was a sloppy third quarter that didn’t produce much offense. The Spartans turned up the defensive pressure in that quarter, relying on their full court press to keep River Valley out of sync. The Raiders finished with 19 turnovers in the game.

River Valley’s Derek Flint kept his team in the game with 14 points, while teammate Ethan Dovenbarger added 7 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 blocked shots. Dovenbarger used his size to clog up the lane and altered numerous Alexander shot attempts.

River Valley went into halftime with a 21-20 edge, capitalizing on all six of their free throw attempts in the first half. The Spartans were bothered by the zone defense look the Raiders used sporadically and did not have many open attempts in the first half.

Senior Jake Grey provided the lone offensive spark for Alexander as he dropped 18 points on a night where Braden Jones never got rolling. Jones’ foul trouble throughout the game, combined with the Raider’s interior size, stifled the junior’s production.

Alexander’s coach Blaine Gabriel seemed pleased with the victory, but stated that his team has to keep getting better to build on this two-game winning streak.

“We struggled starting the game and into the third quarter,” Gabriel said. “But we held them to 11 points in the second half and we contested shots much better.”

The Spartans will look to continue their hot play as they travel to winless Meigs Friday night.