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Payne scores 40 as Flyers get win over River Valley

St. Joseph Flyers’ senior guard Ryan Payne (24) drives against the River Valley Raiders’ defense during Tuesday’s game. Payne scored a career-high 40 points as the Flyers posted a 86-73 win. (Photo By Tim Gearhart)

Jim Walker

In Rocky III, Clubber Lang was asked for a prediction on his fight with Rocky and he answered, “Pain.”
When the St. Joseph Flyers were asked how were they going to beat the River Valley Raiders on senior night Tuesday, their answer could easily have been, “Payne.”
Senior Ryan Payne scored a career-high 40 points including eight 3-pointers as the Flyers outscored the River Valley Raiders 86-73.
“Great game for Ryan to have a career high,” said Flyers’ coach Chris Barnes. “Zach couldn’t buy one but he still battled and hit some big free throws for us. J.C. played well, too.
“We struggle defensively. The Lambert kid might be the best forward we’ve seen all year. He killed us last year. But our offense was fantastic tonight, maybe the best it has been all year. It was a really good win against a tough team.”
Besides Payne, J.C. Damron scored 17 points and both senior Zach Roach and Matthew Sheridan added 9 points for the Flyers (15-5).
Brandon Call scored 16 points and Mason Rhoades 10 for the Raiders (7-15).
Payne drained three 3-pointers and scored 13 points in the first quarter while Damron added 3 and the Flyers took a 19-18 lead.
Lambert hit a 3-pointer and scored 10 points for the Raiders.
Payne continued his onslaught in the second quarter as he buried three more triples and scored 13 points again to give the Flyers a 43-39 lead at the break.
Damron hit a trifecta and scored 7 points for the Flyers while Lambert kept the Raiders in the game as he scored 15 points including 7-of-8 at the foul line.
Lambert had 6 points while Dylan Fulks and Rhodes scored 5 points each as River Valley got within 60-57 at the end of the third quarter.
Jimmy Mahlmeister — saddled with foul trouble most of the game — hit a 3-pointer and scored all 7 of his points in the third quarter while Payne had 6 points.
In the fourth quarter, Payne hit two more 3-pointers, Damron had 4 points and Sheridan also had a trey as the Flyers outscored the Raiders 26-16.
The Flyers were clutch at the foul line as they converted 9-of-11 with Roach hitting 5-of-7 and Payne and Sheridan 2-of-2.
Call hit a pair of 3-pointers and Lambert had a triple and scored 6 points in the quarter.
NEXT UP: The Flyers host Portsmouth Clay on Friday.
River Valley 18 21 18 16 = 73
St. Joseph 19 24 17 26 = 86
RIVER VALLEY (7-15): Dylan Fulks 2 0 2-3 6, Cole Young 0 0 1-2 1, Brandon Call 2 4 0-0 16, Chase Caldwell 1 0 1-2 3, Jordan Lambert 10 2 9-10 35, Mason Rhodes 1 2 2-2 10, Jordan Burns 1 0 0-2 2. Totals: 17 8 15-21 73. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: Rhodes.
ST. JOSEPH (15-5): Jackson Rowe 0 0 0-0 0, Matthew Sheridan 0 2 3-4 9, Zach Roach 2 0 5-7 9, Ryan Payne 6 8 4-6 40, J.C. Damron 6 1 2-2 17, Jared Johnson 2 0 0-0 4, Jimmy Mahlmeister 2 1 0-0 7, Max Weber 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 12 14-19 86. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: Mahlmeister.