ROCKY RIVER, Ohio -- The Pirates earned a bounce-back victory after a Friday-night setback, as Rocky River defeated the Geneva Eagles, 66-43, on Saturday.
After falling to Parma in a hard-fought 48-45 tussle on Friday, the Sons of Blackbeard bolted to an early lead and never looked back in a non-conference game played 22 hours later. With junior guard Braedon Spies and senior guard Charlie Hudson leading the way, Rocky River tallied 15 of the game's first 18 points. The Pirates led the Eagles, 19-8, after one quarter, with the athletic Spies-Hudson tandem combining for 18 of River's 19 points.
A ball-hawking Buccaneer defense forced 11 Geneva turnovers in the opening quarter and would go on to force a season-high 29 for the game.
River's second-quarter effort was bolstered by key 3-pointers knocked down by Tommy Bebie and Ian Tomsik. By halftime, the home five had built a 16-point lead (36-20) in what was becoming a whistle-heavy, physical contest.
The Pirates pumped their lead to 20-plus by the early stages of the third quarter, and the rest of the contest was a smooth sail to the finish line.
River shot just 32.4% (24-for-74) from the floor, but offensive rebounding (a season-high 22 offensive boards) and Eagle turnovers amounted to a slew of extra chances for the Pirates. Rocky River filed 74 shot attempts against just 47 for Geneva.
On the glass, the Pirates out-rebounded the Eagles, 47-36. In the turnover exchange, the Maroon & White were a plus-14 (15 to 29).
"Our guys played hard on both ends of the floor," said Head Coach Mike Murray. "Our defense forced some turnovers early, and we were able to get out in transition. That really got us going. Tonight, we shared the ball well and that lead to some open looks."
For the game, the Pirates (6-7) scored more than half their points (37) off turnovers.
Rocky River's top individual performances were registered by Charlie Hudson (20 points, six rebounds), Braedon Spies (18 points, five rebounds, four assists, six steals), Tommy Bebie (nine points, six rebounds, seven steals), and Robby Lang (nine points, nine rebounds).
Ayden Richmond tallied 12 points and six boards for Geneva.
CANNON FIRE ...
NEW MARKS: On Saturday, Rocky River logged season-best marks for -- largest margin of victory (23 points), most points off turnovers (37), most second-chance points (17), most offensive rebounds (22), and most steals (17). ... With his half-dozen thefts on Saturday, Braedon Spies has recorded 11 steals in River's last two games. The junior guard has a team-high 42 steals (3.2 per game) on the season. ... Charlie Hudson has scored 37 points over his last two games. At 13.0 points per game, Hudson has a slim lead on Spies (12.3 PPG) for the team scoring lead. ... Sophomore Censier Williams made his varsity debut on Saturday. Williams knocked down a trey to log his first points.
DOUBLE-R DOUBLES: Dating back to the 2017-18 season, the last 11 times the Pirates have played on consecutive days, River is 10-1 in the second game.
by Skip Snow
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