MEDINA, Ohio (Feb. 24, 2023) -- Rocky River's season came to an end Friday, as the Pirates were sunk by the Magnificat Blue Streaks in the title game of the Northeast 6 District
in DI Region 2 action. Magnificat -- the No. 2 seed in that region -- shot a robust 45.1% from the field in dispatching its neighbors to the north 61-30.
An early 5-0 River lead slipped away in a 16-0 run for the Blue Streaks, and Magificat dominated in the middle two periods in taking down a Pirate five that had won four straight games and 11-of-its-previous 12.
The Blue Streaks exhibited balanced scoring and solid handles on the basketball. A Rocky River team accustomed to forcing 20 turnovers per game ran into a Friday foe that committed just nine -- the fewest for a River opponent since Dec. 28 (Laurel) -- in a contest the Blue Streaks had well in hand from the middle of the second quarter on.
On the strength of dialed-in perimeter shooting from Katie Maryo and Sofia Wilson, Magnificat shot 37.5% (9-of-24) from 3-point range. The Blue Streaks also outscored River in every standard split, including a 21-3 edge in points off turnovers and a 9-0 advantage in second-chance points. MHS out-rebounded the Double-R 35-25.
The No. 8 Pirates (19-6) had eight players land in the scoring column but in doses too small to get the Roundball Raiders close after the second-quarter slide. Junior forward Ava Patti had nine points and five rebounds and was Rocky River's leading scorer. River shot 29.3% (12-of-41) for the game. That stands as the team's lowest mark since Jan. 23.
Magnificat got solid contributions from Maryo (3-of-6 on 3-pointers, 12 points), Abby Rosol (11 points, seven rebounds), and Wilson (5-of-7 on 3s, 15 points, three assists, three steals).
The Blue Streaks now move on to face No. 4 Springfield in a Region 2 semifinal (Tuesday at Sandusky High School).
"That's a tough team," said coach Jamey Pfahl, "and we just gave up too many points. But I am beyond proud of this team. I have a tremendous staff of coaches, and they worked had to prepare the girls every week. And the girls, they gave everything they had. Our four seniors were such valuable leaders in that respect."
River's four seniors -- Emmy Convery, Haddie Holton, Annika Mocho, and Natalie Swallow -- were the lead edge of a heart-and-hustle attack for the Pirates. And it was an attack not only on offense but on defense, in practice, in preseason training, in each game, in team meetings, and so on. Essentially, it was attack on winter.
And even with Friday's game included, with the days getting longer and spring approaching, and with that tenacious team going 11-2 in its last 13 games, it sort of feels like the 2022-23 Rocky River Pirates won that battle.
These Pirates were Rrelentless, to be sure. Their season was Rremarkable.
And they will be Rremembered.
by Skip Snow
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