ROCKY RIVER, Ohio -- The Pirates were ousted from the DII Region 5 Stow District Tournament Friday night, as Rocky River lost to a red-hot Lutheran West five.
Rocky River, the No. 20 seed in Region 5, struggled mightily in converting field goals against a Longhorns team which is now 14-1 over its last 15 games. The Pirates went just 2-of-24 (8.3%) from the floor in falling behind 14-8 by halftime. River's defense was sharp, holding the Longhorns to a 6-of-20 (30%) mark in the first half.
The Pirates were outscored 20-6 in a decisive third quarter that put the game well in hand for the Longhorns (17-6).Eighth-seeded Lutheran West would go on to win by a final of 45-20; the 20 marks River's lowest single-game total going back 13 seasons.
For the game, the Maroon & White went 7-of-42 (16.7%) from the field.
Individually, River got six points and seven rebounds each from Braedon Spies and Robby Lang. Gavin O'Brien added five.
The loss marked the Pirates' first setback against Lutheran West since 2006. The Roundball Raiders had previously beaten their neighbors to the south in five straight games (2016-19).
Those neighbors now move on in the district bracket. The Longhorns will take on No. 9 Buckeye on Thursday.
For Rocky River, the season comes to an end, and so, too, do the prep careers of seniors Justin Gina, Robby Lang, Patrick Lange, Braedon Spies, Ian Tomsik, and Zach Wearsch. For that group and the rest of the Double-R squad, Friday's loss marked just the Pirates' second since Feb. 1. Included among six wins since that date were key triumphs over North Olmsted, Lakewood, and Bay. The Bay win on Feb. 5 was a particularly memorable one on Senior Night for the Sons of Blackbeard.
Friday was an off shooting night. After an awfully good February. For a program that will now miss those seniors an awful lot.
by Skip Snow
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