HOLSTEIN - Western Valley Conference rivals Galva-Holstein and River Valley squared off for the fourth time this season on Feb. 24th, but this time out something was on the line - a spot in the Class 1A District 3 Championship game. In a game that was close all the way, the Pirates of Bob Lee beat the senior-laden River Valley squad by seven points, 63-56,and it will be the Pirates who move on to the Championship game against a tough Laurens-Marathon team on Feb. 26th at Mapleton. L-M has beaten Newell-Fonda and Alta to get to this point.
Galva-Holstein coach Lee said he was proud of his team for keeping their composure in the second half and executing the offense "real well." He also singled out Patrick McAreavy and Mark Cronin for their defensive performance, especially in the fourth quarter.
RV had the lead after one quarter,14-11; the game was tied at the half, 32-32; and GH led 47-44 going into the final quarter. With just 46 seconds left in the game, the Pirates' lead was still just three points, but, said RV coach Dean Norris, "(We) could not hit the shot to tie it, and they made their free throws down the stretch to seal the game."
Zach Hullinger ended his career with a 22-point effort for RV, while fellow senior Anthony Volkert added 16 points and nine rebounds. Austin Hansen had three steals for the Wolverines and Sam Lundt dished out seven assists.
Despite the loss, River Valley coach Dean Norris termed his team's season a "very successful one." The Wolverines compiled a 12-8 mark on the season (6-3 in conference play), and four of those losses came at the hands of the 20-3 Pirates.