LODI, Ohio -- On Tuesday, Rocky River clocked a district tournament triumph at Cloverleaf, and now the Pirates -- a team on a 6-1 roll since Feb. 1 -- have earned a home date in the playoffs. Sort of.
Rocky River -- the No. 20 seed in DII Region 5 -- traveled to No. 15 Cloverleaf Tuesday. With them on the bus ride back to the 116 afterward was a scorebook detailing a 61-40 conquest over the Colts. Among the spoils of victory from the first-round game in the DII Region 5 Stow District Tournament tilt: a shorter bus ride in the next round. The Pirates will take on neighbors a mile-and-a-half to the south when they play a second-round game at No. 8 Lutheran West on Friday.
That scorebook tabbed River with impressive second- and fourth-quarter surges in the 21-point win over Cloverleaf, which had scored 69 points in each of its two previous games, both of which were victories on home hardwood.
The Pirates -- now winners of district opening-rounders in 14 straight years -- opened Tuesday's contest with an 8-0 run. The Colts would have their own 8-0 stretch in a first quarter that ended with the visitors leading by four (12-8). Seniors Robby Lang and Braedon Spies both had solid starts for the Maroon & White. The dynamic duo would go on to combine for 32 of Rocky River's 61 points.
When Cloverleaf's Ashton Newton tripled at the 4:34-mark of the second stanza, the Pirate lead was at one (16-15). But the Double-R closed out the second on a 13-4 run and took a 29-19 lead into halftime.
River maintained its double-digit lead and went into the fourth up by 12 (43-31). The Pirates (13-9) then closed out the game in fine fashion, doubling up the Colts 18-9 over the final eight-minute period.
[Game stats unavailable at time of publication.]
Spies finished with a team-high 20 points, his most in a game since scoring 21 at Bay on Jan. 11. Lang scored 12 points. Will DeClerck added nine, and Justin Gina filed eight.
All in a book that gets to be utilized at least one more time, beginning Friday at 7 p.m. at Lutheran West High School.
by Skip Snow
# # # RR # # #