GALION — A slow start left Galion mired in a double-digit deficit it couldn’t recover from en route to a 61-28 loss to River Valley on Saturday. It was the opening game of the Mid Ohio Athletic Conference girls basketball schedule for both squads.
“I thought we came out real slow and sluggish,” Rush said. “We just didn’t have any energy coming out here and they did. They were ready to come out and play their first game and we just didn’t play with the energy we needed to come out with.”
The Tigers (0-3, 0-1 MOAC) fell behind 14-0 in the opening period and didn’t hit their first basket until the 1:18 mark when junior forward Natalee Perkins scored. Trailing 17-4 after the first quarter ended, Galion experienced another scoring drought to open the second period and fell further behind, evetually trailing 38-11 at halftime. The Tigers were unable to make a dent in the deficit in the second half.
Perkins finished with 9 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 blocked shots to lead Galion. Junior Heaven Phelps and freshman point guard Lexi Rush each scored 8 points. Phelps had 5 rebounds. Rush had 5 rebounds and 3 steals.
River Valley (1-0, 1-0 MOAC) was playing its first game of the season after having two non-conference contests canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Coach Tim Chiles said he was thankful that his team had the chance to play a real game.
“It was nice just to open up and play,” said Chiles. “Three weeks in, I think the girls were extremely excited to get out and play against sombody else. I told them I think it’s the longest that anybody’s prepared for a season in terms of practice going into their first game. We came out well. We got our tempo going. We talked all preseason about wanting to play tempo and I thought we did a nice job. Even after some makes (by Galion), we got down the floor and got some easy looks, which is going to be important for us this year.”
Brooklyn Mosher connected on three 3-point field goals and finished with a game-high 18 points, including 10 points in the second period alone. Hannah Logan tallied 17 points, scoring 10 points in the first half.
Nine different Vikings scored points. River Valley knocked down five 3-point shots.
Galion’s roster was depleted by the absence of three players, most notably starting point Teanna Greter.
“Definitely, missing Greter hurt us,” Rush said. “She’s our point guard and is averaging about 10 points a game. That hurt. We put Lexi in, but this was her first varsity game and there’s a lot of growing pains.”
Rush said her postgame message to the ballclub was simple and direct.
“I said (River Valley) outworked us today and we have another opportunity, hopefully, come Tuesday to play a team that we can compete with. It’ll be a matter of who wants it more,” she said.
Galion plays host to Plymouth (0-2) on Tuesday evening. The Big Red dropped its season opener to Hillsdale, 70-49, and lost to Crestview, 68-23, on Dec. 3.
The junior varsity game starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday followed by the varsity contest at 7:30 p.m.