Coal Grove’s Conor Markins (32) scores two of his 24 points in a 46-44 win over River Valley Monday in the Division III sectional tournament. The Hornets play in the sectional finals at 8 p.m. Friday against Nelsonville-York. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)
Coal Grove’s Conor Markins (32) scores two of his 24 points in a 46-44 win over River Valley Monday in the Division III sectional tournament. The Hornets play in the sectional finals at 8 p.m. Friday against Nelsonville-York. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Archived Story

Hornets hold off Raiders, 46-44

Published 3:49am Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Jim Walker


JACKSON — Being out of school all day had the Coal Grove Hornets out of their normal routine.

Fortunately, Conor Markins was true to form as he helped the Hornets hold off the River Valley Raiders 46-44 Monday in the Division III sectional tournament semifinals.

Markins scored 24 points to go with seven rebounds and three steals. He had 23 points over three quarters as the Hornets struggled with their offense. Markins’ teammates were just 5-of-18 for three quarters and 7-of-23 for the game.

“(River Valley) got a lot better. I knew going into the game it would be a good game, it was just we were kind of flat,” said Hornets’ coach Jay Lucas.

“(River Valley) played good defense. Conor had a great game. That’s what you expect out of a senior. The other guys were getting good looks, it was just the shots weren’t falling.”

It was Coal Grove’s first tournament win since beating Minford 48-45 in 2010. Lucas said the defense was the key.

“We played good defense the whole night. Our pressure gave them problems especially in the second half,” said Lucas

“We’re glad to get a win. It’s been a long time since we’ve even won one in the tournament. I’m proud of the kids and the effort they gave tonight.”

Coal Grove plays Nelsonville-York at 8:30 p.m. Friday in the sectional finals.

John Qualls had 11 points and Seann Roberts 10 for River Valley (5-17).

Markins had six points and Austen Pleasants came off the bench to get two baskets inside as the Hornets took a 12-7 lead.

The Raiders came back to tie the game at 17 on a foul shot by Brody Moles with 4:41 to go in the half.

Markins drained a trifecta for a 20-17 lead, but the Raiders went on a 9-2 run to close the half including a tip-in by Andrew Moffett to get the lead at 23-22 and a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Tyler Twyman for a 26-22 halftime lead.

A layup by Roberts gave River Valley its biggest lead at 32-26 with 3:25 to go in the third quarter.

Markins’ 3-pointer cut the deficit to 32-31 and his two foul shots tied the game at 33. Pleasants made a foul shot with one second on the clock and Coal Grove led 34-33.

Sean Paulus hit a 3-pointer and Isaiah Gunther made a layup as Coal Grove opened up a 40-33 lead to start the fourth quarter.

Two foul shots by Justin Rusk got the Raiders within 43-42 with 1:13 left. River Valley was forced to foul and D.J. Miller sank two free throws with 41 seconds left the Hornets were up 45-42.

Twyman had two free throws to get the Raiders within 45-44 with 24 seconds to go. But Miller hit the first of two foul shots two seconds later and it was 46-44.

The Raiders played for the final shot but Rusk tried to a long 3-pointer that was wide left at the buzzer.

River Valley 7 19 7 11 = 44

Coal Grove 12 10 12 12 = 46

RIVER VALLEY (5-17): Tyler Twyman 1 1 4-4 9, Andrew Moffett 2 0 2-4 6, John Qualls 4 1 0-0 11, Justin Rusk 1 1 2-2 7, Seann Roberts 5 0 0-0 10, Dayton Hardway 0 0 0-0 0, Tre Craycraft 0 0 0-0 0, Bailey Rhodes 0 0 0-0 0, Jordan Howell 0 0 0-0 0, Cody Lee 0 0 0-0 0, Mark Wray 0 0-0 0, Brody Moles 0 0 1-2 1. Totals: 16-39 9-12 44. 3-point goals: 3-11. Rebounds: 12-O, 18-D = 30 (Roberts 9, Moffett 6). Team/deadball rebounds: 2. Assists: 4 (Qualls 2). Steals: 4 (Rusk 2). Turnovers: 16. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: Qualls (4th 1:45).

COAL GROVE (14-7): Sean Paulus 0 1 1-2 4, Brandon Adkins 1 0 0-0 2, D.J. Miller 0 0 4-8 4, Joe Akers 1 0 0-0 2, Conor Markins 6 3 3-6 24, Jonathan Joseph 0 0 0-0 0, Isaiah Gunther 1 0 0-0 2, Austen Pleasants 3 0 2-4 8. Totals: 16-44 10-20 46. 3-point goals: 4-12. Rebounds: 14-O, 12-D = 26 (Markins 7, Pleasants 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 3. Assists: 7 (Paulus 3, Adkins 2). Steals: 4 (Markins 3). Turnovers: 10. Fouls: 12. Fouled out: None.


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