WESTLAKE, Ohio -- Rocky River fell to a talented Westlake Demons team 83-63 Friday night.
A sharp-shooting Westlake five posted 19-plus points in all four quarters, as the Demons became just the third team to notch 80-plus against River in a single game over the last three seasons (Bay, Fairview). Westlake shot 47.8% (32-of-67) from the field, and the home side was bolstered by the play of Ray Ellington, who clocked 32 points and 12 rebounds.
The Pirates (1-1, 1-1 GLC West) scored 10 of the game's first 14 points. But Rocky River's shooting touch soured over the back half of the opening quarter, and the Maroon & White went into the second quarter trailing 19-12.
The second stanza was all-Westlake. The Demons extended their lead to double digits by the middle of the period. Taking care of the basketball and cranking out a 50% accuracy mark from the floor, the home five extended its lead to 41-25 by halftime. River would not get any closer the rest of the way.
Ellington went 15-of-24 from the field in 28 minutes. Teammate Basheer Alramahi added 13 points and five boards in 15 minutes of action.
Rocky River was paced by Braedon Spies (13 points, five rebounds, three assists), Danny Garcia (12 points), and Will DeClerck (seven points, five boards, two blocks). The Pirates shot 34.7% (25-of-72) from the floor.
"This was a tough opponent having a good night," said head coach Mike Murray. "But I'm proud of our guys, and we're going to take some lessons learned forward and respond the right way."
The Pirates are scheduled to play two non-conference games in the upcoming week: Tuesday at Akron Ellet and Thursday at Wheelersburg.
CANNON FIRE ...
YOUNG BUCS: Rocky River logged a split in Friday's developmental games. The Westlake freshmen defeated the Pirates 55-38. The River junior varsity prevailed 48-33. Jaden Charney scored 14 points in the JV game.
GLASS CLEANERS: The Pirates hauled down 19 offensive rebounds, their most in a single game since Jan. 23 (19 vs. Geneva). DeClerck and Ian Tomsik each had three offensive boards on the night.
SEEING GREEN: River and Westlake were meeting for the first time as Great Lakes Conference foes. The Pirates have now gotten an early look at both of the circuit's new programs for the 2021-22 season (Westlake, North Olmsted). Dating back to 2016, the Demons are now 5-1 in their last six games against the Double-R. ... Westlake's 83 points were the most scored in the last 16 games of this series. Over that stretch (since 2005), the Demons are 11-5.
by Skip Snow
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