ROCKY RIVER, Ohio (Feb. 7, 2023) -- Rocky River hosted a Great Lakes Conference Tournament opening-round game against Parma Tuesday, and the Redmen defeated the Pirates 45-42 in a hard-fought tussle.
The Maroon & White endured a couple cold shooting spells, were outscored 21-6 from the perimeter, and were a minus-10 in turnover margin in what marked their fourth loss in their last five games. The Redmen -- East Division No. 4-seed -- snapped a four-game losing streak in a contest that had 10 ties and lead changes throughout. They now move on to a GLC Tournament quarterfinal; Rocky River, the West No. 3-seed, moves on in consolation-bracket play.
River scored just three points on 1-of-7 shooting in the opening quarter. The Pirates had no answer for junior guard Kailen Pottinger whose offense lifted Parma (4-14) to a 19-18 lead by halftime.
The Buccaneers wrested away that lead on the first shot of the second half when junior Jaden Charney knocked down his second triple of the game. But the Redmen rallied for a 10-2 run and were up six (29-23) by the midpoint of the third period.
Rocky River (9-9) would get within one, though, by the end of the third quarter (35-34). The home five would level the game at 40-40 when senior Censier Williams hit a pair of free-throw tosses at the 3:40-mark of the fourth. But the Pirates would never grab the lead. The Redmen got a key Pottinger bucket and a couple free throws late, and they pulled out the game 44-40 in what marked the first meeting between the two programs since Jan. 22, 2021.
Parma's ability to hang on in the fourth was aided by its handles on the basketball. The Redmen committed just one turnover in the fourth and seven in the game. That latter figure is the lowest for a River foe in 32 games, since Jan. 4, 2022 (three-Fairview).
The Pirates were a plus-16 (38-22) on the boards, but second-chance points were just a minor 11-10 (RRHS-PSHS) exchange. The Sons of Blackbeard were just 2-of-15 (13.3%) from 3-point-land; their visitors went 7-of-26 (26.9%).
River was unable to muster enough offense against a Parma five that went into the game yielding 61.1 points per contest.
Individually, the Redmen got 14 points and three assists from Pottinger. Juelz Caraballo chimed in with 11 points, six rebounds, and three assists.
The Pirates got 11 points from Jaden Charney, nine from Ryan Ricketti, and seven from Will DeClerck. DeClerck was especially effective in cleaning the glass in the second half; for the game, he logged 11 rebounds.
Rocky River will host Bay, the West No. 5, in a Friday consolation game (Rocky River Gymnasium, 7 p.m.).
Parma will take on East No. 1 Holy Name Friday. The tournament's top seeds are Holy Name and Elyria Catholic (West No. 1).
by Skip Snow
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