Rocky River City Schools News Article

Streak snapped: Pirates undone as Panthers pounce early

EC Coliseum

ELYRIA, Ohio (Jan. 12, 2023) -- Rocky River had its three-game win streak snapped Friday night in a 66-53 setback at Elyria Catholic. A Pirate defense that had allowed just 42.7 points per game over the win streak allowed 14-plus to the Panthers in each of four quarters at Elyria Catholic Coliseum. EC outscored River 32-11 on 3-pointers and free throws.

The Great Lakes Conference West Division clash went sideways at the outset, with the Panthers scoring the first 11 points of the night and 17 of the first 19. The Double-R then went on an impressive 17-5 run fueled by sharp passing, offensive rebounding, and a couple buckets off turnovers. That nearly leveled the game at the time. When senior Jaden Charney muscled his way to a successful putback at the 2:10-mark, the Raiders found themselves down by just three (22-19).

But the Panthers (4-5, 3-1 GLC West) closed out the half in strong fashion, besting the Buccaneers 9-4 over those final 130 seconds, and Elyria Catholic went into halftime leading 31-23.

The third quarter was a 30-point tussle, with Elyria outscoring Rocky River 16-14. The Pirates got as close as five (36-31) in that frame. The fourth was a similar stanza: an up-tempo exchange of buckets without momentum swings. And for a River five that had been on roll defensively over recent games, an exchange without many stops.

The Panthers logged an effective field-goal percentage of 66.7% in the fourth (54.7% for the game) and closed out their home win without too much drama. Still, for the first quarter EC outscored River 17-2; the rest of the way, the Pirates outscored the Panthers 51-49.

Any potential Rocky River (6-4, 3-1) comeback effort was hampered by a 3-of-19 (15.8%) performance from beyond the arc and by getting to the foul line just three times. Rebounds were an even 33-33 tussle, although the Maroon & White did credible work at the offensive end, pulling down 15 boards after misses. The Pirates were a minus-2 in turnovers (16-14).

Elyria had four scorers in double figures. Jacob Radcliffe (19 points), Zavior Castillo (14P), A.J. DeFazio (12P), and Purvie Smallwood (10P) led the way for the Panthers. DeFazio added seven rebounds and three assists.

Julian Patti had 16P for the Pirates. Jaden Charney and Hakeem Zayed ledgered 10P each; Gio Lizzini filed 8P. Lizzini and Patti each had 9R; Zayed had 4A.

Up next on the horizon for the Pirates is a Jan. 19 trip to Valley Forge for a GLC cross-over against the Patriots. Rocky River and Valley Forge haven't met since Jan. 8, 2021.

by Skip Snow

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