MORRISTOWN - The object of basketball is putting the ball through the hoop.
River had trouble doing that Tuesday night during its Ohio Division IV boys' sectional tournament opener with Caldwell at Union Local High School.
The Redskins (16-7) didn't as they blistered the nets from both the field and the foul line in rolling past the Pilots, 63-44. Caldwell sank 20 of 33 shots from the floor (60 percent) while knocking down 17 of 21 free throws (81 percent).
"We missed 14 shots within 4 feet of the bucket. You cannot win basketball games shooting like that," veteran River coach Mark Romick said. "That's been our nemesis all season. At this point in the season you can't blame it on youth, it's just the inability to score.
"We have to get out (this summer) and work our butts off on shooting the ball. It's as simple as that."
While the Redskins were seemingly making everything they threw up, the Pilots were on the opposite end of the spectrum as they managed a 15-for-41 effort from the field and 10-for-19 from the cline.
Poor shooting and five turnovers left River on the short end of a 13-5 count after eight minutes. Both teams tallied 18 second-quarter points as Caldwell maintained its eight-point bulge, 31-23.
"We're within striking distance at halftime, but our inability to put the ball in the basket hurt us," Romick continued. "Then, in the second half our lack of knowledge of the game prohibits us from getting in the right places sometimes, and it usually results in a turnover because we hang each other out to dry.
"The kids played hard and I'm really proud of them. We lost seven seniors from last year's team and these kids could've very easily packed it in halfway through this year, but they didn't. That's not their mental makeup."
Caldwell's markmanship from the free-throw line in the second half allowed it to pull away. The Redskins meshed 11 of 14 shots after halftime.
Jonathan Weichman led four Redskins in double figures with 16 points. Tanner Baker added 13, while Tanner Harding had a dozen and Tanner Clark 10.
River's Ryan Indermuhle led all scorers with 19. Cole Isaly dropped in a trio of 3s off the bench and finished with 10 points.