Rocky River City Schools News Article

Pirates plunder Patriots, sail to 62-41 victory at Valley Forge

Michael Swallow

PARMA HEIGHTS, Ohio (Feb. 5, 2024) -- A strong floor game all around and excellent team passing led the Pirates to their most points in a single game in month, as Rocky River defeated Valley Forge 62-41 in a Great Lakes Conference cross-over battle Monday.

The Maroon & White set up a slew of buckets with alert and well-timed cross-lane and fast-break passes. They outscored their hosts 38-16 over the middle frames of what was a make-up date after a postponed-due-to-inclement-weather visit to VFHS last month.

Rocky River (8-7) registered multiple misfires in near-proximity looks early on, but it went on a 15-6 run to close out the first half with a 28-19 advantage. An early-third surge led by Gio Lizzini, Michael Swallow, and Hakeem Zayed vaulted to Pirate lead to 21 (42-21) by the 4:30-mark of that period.

The balance of the contest was highlighted by more good work from Lizzini, River depth, and liberal floor time for Buccaneer reserves in the fourth.

Lizzini finished with 12 points. Ryan Ricketti (10P), Zayed (9P), Jaden Charney (8P), and Julian Patti (8P) were Rocky River's other top scorers in a game that saw 10 Pirates register points.

River's 62 points marked their most in a game since scoring 66 in a win over Bay on Jan. 5. The Pirates' 21-point margin of victory marked the team's widest this season.

[Full game stats unavailable at time of publication.]

The game marked the 12th straight setback for Valley Forge (2-15).

For the Sons of Blackbeard, Monday's game marked the front end of a double (RRHS will play at Lakewood Tuesday at 7 p.m.), and it opened a stretch that has the River Five playing four straight games away from home.


In River's Monday developmental games, the Pirates split. Valley Forge took the freshman game 58-51. Rocky River won the junior varsity contest 58-23. Alex Giordano (17P) and Jordan Cook (10P) led the Double-R in scoring in the freshman game. Brandon Nazette (24P on the strength of five 3-pointers) and Henry Ward (13P) paced the scoring in the JV game.

PATS & PIRATES: Monday's game marked the first Rocky River-Valley Forge game since Jan. 8, 2021. The victory marked the Pirates' seventh in a row over the Patriots. River is 14-2 against Valley Forge since 2011.

by Skip Snow

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