LAKEWOOD, Ohio -- Rocky River suffered its third consecutive loss, as the Pirates were roped, wrangled, and routed by the Lakewood Rangers, 54-33, on Tuesday night.
The Rangers won the Battle of the Bridge in wire-to-wire fashion. If baskets were automobiles, the traffic on that bridge was one way and flowing toward the school on the east side of the Rocky River. The home five shot a red-hot 48% from the floor. The visitors' shooting was as cold as the waters under the bridge: the Pirates shot just 24.5% (12-of-49). Their 33 points marked a season-low.
The Pirates (7-10, 5-7 Great Lakes Conference) were twice held to just six points in a period -- the first and the third -- and they brought no distance game with them to quickly extricate themselves from trouble. River went 2-of-23 (8.7%) from beyond the 3-point arc. And those shooting performances include a solid night for the Buccaneer bench: the Pirate starting five went just 6-of-36 (16.7%) on the evening.
The Maroon & White were undone by the fine play of Mark Jarrous (19 points) and Riley Ulintz (18 points, nine rebounds). That tandem went a combined 16-of-27 from the field, Jarrous went 3-of-4 on 3-point attempts.
It all spelled Rocky River worst margin in a loss (21 points) this season. And it made for the Pirates' third straight setback. That's River's longest losing streak since February of 2018.
Justin Gina (career-high seven points) and Braedon Spies (seven points) were the Pirates' leading scorers.
Rocky River returned to its side of the bridge without much to celebrate, but the schedule offers solace. The Pirates have a bounce-back opportunity or two or three in front of them. River will host rival Bay on Friday night and then head into a GLC Tournament, which this year replaces the final games of the regular season. Friday's game will mark Senior Night for the Double-R program.
by Skip Snow
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