BENTON CITY -- The River View girls aren't big in stature this season.
But their big three -- juniors Hattie Johnson and Mallory Smith, and sophomore Kim Gier -- came up big yet again Friday night in a 51-39 SCAC East victory over Kiona-Benton at Sharon Brandon Gym.
All three average in double figures this season, and all three hit the mark against the Bears.
Gier scored 15 points, while Smith and Johnson added 12 apiece as the Panthers improved to 3-0 in league play for the first time since the 2003-04 season.
"That's the way it's been all year for us," said River View coach Bruce Moore. "We never know who'll have a big night for us, and we don't care. The girls are very unselfish. They're just looking for the color of the uniform, not a particular person."
River View survived a career night from Ki-Be senior Jessica Small, who scored 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting and grabbed a school-record 24 rebounds.
The Panthers held Small's teammates to just 15 points on 7-of-41 shooting (17 percent) while forcing 27 turnovers that they converted into 18 points.
"We've got only three girls taller than 5-5, so we've got to be very aggressive and quick," Moore said. "We closed out well on their shooters and still were able to get back and help on their big girls."
Meanwhile, Bears coach Joe Wirtzberger was disappointed his young team didn't respond to what he called its first big test of the season.
"We were a little overwhelmed," he said. "We just couldn't hit any open shots. That was the first taste of facing a zone that extended out on us."
Small scored five points in a 7-0 run midway through the second quarter that cut River View's lead to 21-17, but the Panthers closed the half on an 11-0 run led by Smith's eight points.
The Panthers led 32-17 at halftime and pushed their advantage to as many as 22 in the second half.
RIVER VIEW (51)
Kim Gier 15, Smith 12, Johnson 12, Hess 5, McGill, McCoy, Bender 3, Steagall, Parthree 4. Totals 16-48 14-28 51.
Jessica Small 24, Blizard 2, Castilleja 2, Torp 2, B.Schroeder 5, VonHollebeke, M.Schroeder, Torres 4. Totals 15-53 8-16 39.
River View 19 13 12 7 -- 51
Kiona-Benton 10 7 7 15 -- 39
Highlights -- RV 5x18 3pt, KB ; RV 37 rbs, KB; RV 22 TOs, KB; Mallory Smith 10 rbs, 3 stls; Gier 9 rbs, 4 asts, 5 stls; Small 24 rbs; Alyssa Castilleja 4 asts, 4 stls.