Hidden Valley Falls Short in 57-54 River Ridge Setback to Blacksburg

Titan ballhandler #12 Doug Hartley races upcourt after a Bruin turnover in the second half.

Missed free throws cost Hidden Valley the golden opportunity to open 2-0 in the River Ridge District race as Blacksburg escaped the Titan gym Tuesday night with a hard-fought 57-54 win. In a see-saw battle between the two teams that began the night 1-0 in district play, Blacksburg led 32-31 at the halftime break and 46-43 after three quarters before the final frame that went to the wire.

Hidden Valley kept their deficit between one and three points until finally knotting the score at 50 with just under four minutes left. Titan Dylan Hodson gave Hidden Valley a 52-50 lead with a pair of free throws before Blacksburg went on a 5-2 run to go ahead 55-54 with under a minute left.

Hidden Valley forced a Bruin turnover with 24 seconds remaining, but a pair of off-balance shots fell wide for the Titans in the final seconds, and Blacksburg converted a pair of free throws with :00.3 remaining to secure the final margin.

“It was very frustrating,” Hidden Valley head coach Troy Wells noted afterward. “We had the win on our fingertips, but missed free throws hurt us down the stretch. It would have been big to start 2-0 in the district.”

The Titans at one point missed four of five attempts late in the fourth quarter.

“It was a close one to the wire,” Blacksburg head coach Doug Day noted. “A River Ridge win on the road is always great.”

Hidden Valley was led in scoring by Hodson’s 16 points, while Titan junior Andrew King netted 13. Blacksburg was led by center Michael Ayares’ game-high 23 points.

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