BAY VILLAGE, Ohio (Feb. 3, 2023) -- The Pirates closed out their 2022-23 Great Lake Conference slate at Bay Friday night. Shooting woes cropped up for a second straight game, as Rocky River fell to the Rockets 55-43.
River shot just 23.1% (6-of-26) in falling behind 27-14 by halftime. An 8-2 run in the fourth quarter would get the Pirates as close as four (44-40), but the second half was mostly played out with Bay maintaining leads in the three-to-four-possession range. For the game, the Rockets outshot the Pirates 42% to 30%, and the home five leveraged a sizable edge at the free-throw line. Bay's win levelled the season series 1-1; the Pirates beat the Rockets 61-44 on Jan. 4.
Rocky River's 30% shooting night came on the heels of the Pirates shooting just 28.6% in a Tuesday home game against Avon.
In Friday's game, the Double-R doubled up their hosts 16-8 in offensive rebounds, but the Pirates' iffy shooting was costly. The Rockets (7-11, 4-6 GLC West) outscored RRHS 9-8 in second-chance points.
Bay more-than-doubled up River in free-throw attempts, 29-13. But the Pirates' performance at the line was lacking in the extreme, and they would have need 50 attempts to level Bay's advantage. The Buccaneers went just 3-of-13 (23.1%) on their uncontested 15-footers.
Individually, the Pirates (9-8, 5-5) got 13 points from Gavin O'Brien. The senior guard went 3-of-4 from distance in notching his most points in a single game since Dec. 10 (15 vs. Lincoln West). O'Brien and fellow guard Julian Patti, who had six points, did well to protect the basketball. They logged a combined one turnover in 51 minutes.
Hakeem Zayed added seven points, six rebounds, and three steals. A Censier Williams had six points. But the River offense was undone, in part, by three starters combining to go 6-of-26 (23.1%) from the floor.
Carson Gergye (13P) and Augie Payne (12P) topped the scoring rolls for the home five. Gergye had a versatile overall line which included four rebounds, four assists, and three blocked shots. Andrew Chesterfield added 8P, 6R, and 3A.
River and Bay now head into the 2023 Great Lakes Conference Tournament representing the West Division. The 12-team league event will tip off Tuesday: seeds, match-ups, game sites, and times TBA.
by Skip Snow
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