Rocky River City Schools News Article

Pirates answer bell at Avon, but Eagles prevail 55-46

Gio Lizzini

AVON, Ohio (Jan. 30, 2024) -- Rocky River gave an all-out effort against a strong Avon squad which is now 8-3 since Dec. 27, but the Pirates fell to Eagles 55-46 in Tuesday night non-conference action.

The Maroon & White tied a season-high with 18 offensive rebounds and were in other ways all-in on a floor-burn-and-lunch-pail effort against a home five hitting more perimeter looks (6-of-18, 33.3%) and knocking down more contested near-proximity attempts in traffic. From the floor, Avon outshot Rocky River 43% to 32%. The Pirates have now shot under-39% in five consecutive games; they have lost their last four.

The Eagles drained one of their six triples as the first shot attempt of the second quarter, and that gave them an 11-point cushion (16-5). Avon (10-5) would have a three-possession most of the rest of the way against a River five battling but without extended runs. The Eagles led 30-22 at halftime and 41-32 at the end of the third. The Sons of Blackbeard got within five (43-38) on a powerful move to the basket by Julian Patti at 6:04 of the fourth, but that is as close as the Double-R would get in the final stanza with the Eagles finding twine on 10-of-14 free throws.

River also short-circuited its comeback bid by for the game going just 7-of-14 from the foul line. Despite going 9-of-11 from the stripe two games back, the Pirates have shot just 55.6% from the line since Jan. 9.

The Eagles got 10 points each from Zane Austin, Ali Jaber, and Tyson Ziegler. Nolan Good had nine points, eight rebounds, and three assists.

The Buccaneers got 9P from Patti and 8P from Jeff Maslar. Giovanni Lizzini registered 6P, 8R (five on the offensive glass), and two steals. Hakeem Zayed had 6P, 3R, 2A, and 3S and was a plus-7 in 14 minutes of action.

"This was a great non-league game for us, a real test against a physical and talented Avon team," said coach Mike Murray, whose Raiders have now lost five straight to the Eagles. "I'm proud of our grit and effort, and I know this group will keep grinding."

The Pirates will be at home in a Great Lakes Conference West Division tilt against North Olmsted Friday night. That contest will mark Senior Night for the Rocky River program.

by Skip Snow

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