ROCKY RIVER, Ohio -- Senior guards Charlie Hudson and Nathan Robertson were an emotional lift for the Basketball Buccaneers, but Rocky River fell to a talented Bay five, 63-57, in overtime on Friday night.
The setback for the Pirates (7-11, 5-8 Great Lakes Conference) came on Senior Night for the program. Hudson and Robertson and six Basketball cheerleaders were honored in a pregame ceremony. The Double-R then took to the floor, giving a game effort in a physical tussle against their neighbors to the west.
Junior Tommy Bebie had a big night for River, scoring 15 of the team's first 21 points en route to posting a 19-point, 10-rebound double-double. Bebie's efforts in the opening half helped the Pirates reach halftime tied, 25-25, with a Rockets squad that downed the Double-R, 60-50, on Jan. 5.
The Sons of Blackbeard registered a swashbuckling third quarter, outshooting the Rockets, 50% to 15%, and out-rebounding them, 12-3. River scored 14-of-22 points in the period and went into the fourth leading, 39-33.
Bay would battle back. A triple by senior guard Ashton Price at 5:10 of the fourth brought the visitors within one (43-42). Nathan Robertson gave River a jolt forty seconds later. The son of Kevin and Anita Robertson drained a three from the right flank to lift the Pirate lead back to four.
The Rockets get to within two (48-46) by the three-minute mark. The next two minutes-and-change would be a tense exchange but one broken by a slew of referee whistles and timeouts. The Pirates led by one (50-49) when Charlie Hudson toed the charity stripe at the 48-second mark. The son of Dennis and Judy Hudson knocked down two throws to vault the Roundball Raiders to a 52-49 cushion. Sixteen seconds later, that edge evaporated when junior forward Sam Houk sank a 3-pointer. The Rocky River Gymnasium scoreboard read "52-52" and would blink those same digits when the clock hit triple-zeroes.
The overtime was a closely contested four-minute frame. The Pirates trailed by just one (58-57) when Hudson drained two free throws at the 24-second mark. But the Rockets -- who in overtime went 2-of-3 from the floor and 5-of-6 from the line -- went on to score the final five points of the contest.
For the game, Bay got to the foul line 31 times, the most for a River opponent all season. The Rockets converted on 21 (67.7%) of those opportunities. Houk went 8-of-11 at the line as part of an 18-point night. Price registered a game-high 20 points for a Bay bunch which went 18-of-42 (34.6%) from the field. The Rockets were a plus-9 in turnovers (9-to-18), and they outscored the Pirates, 20-9, in points off turnovers.
Bebie's 19 points were earned on a 7-of-14 night. Charlie Hudson clocked a 16-point game. On a night that saw him log his 500th career point, Hudson went 9-of-9 from the foul line. Braedon Spies added seven points and seven rebounds. Nathan Robertson logged six points and a team-high three assists. River was 12-of-25 (48%) on 2-point attempts, but the Pirates were undone from distance. The home five made just 6-of-29 (20.7%) from 19 feet-9 inches.
Led by Hudson's four, Rocky River recorded 15 offensive rebounds on the night. For the game, River out-rebounded Bay, 44-30.
But for a 14th time in the last 15 series meetings, the Rockets won the contest where it counts the most: on the scoreboard.
CANNON FIRE ...
ON DECK: Rocky River's next game will be a Great Lakes Conference Tournament affair. In order to level the playing field in a league where members have played different schedules due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the GLC is ending the 2020-21 slate with a 10-team bracket. Fifth-seeded Rocky River will travel to No. 4 Normandy on Tuesday. The winner of that game will advance to a Feb. 16 semifinal; the loser will continue play in a consolation bracket.
SENIOR STAT-PACK: Through Friday's game, Nathan Robertson has logged 178 points, 74 rebounds, and 37 assists in a 51-game career. Hudson has registered 513 points, 220 rebounds, and 110 assists in 52 games. Both are three-season athletes: Robertson competes in Golf and Lacrosse; Hudson also competes for River Lacrosse and is a member of the Pirate Football team. ... Also honored as part of Senior Night were six River cheerleaders: Mallory Delaney, Keely McKenna, Emily Monastra, Shea O'Flaherty, Emma Soroczak, and Holli Stalter.
by Skip Snow