Rocky River City Schools News Article

A pillage of the Village! Sons of Blackbeard open 2024 with 66-48 win in rivalry tussle

RR Boys Basketball

ROCKY RIVER, Ohio (Jan. 5, 2024) -- Rocky River shot a season-best 51.1% (23-of-45) in collecting a Great Lakes Conference West Division win over rival Bay Friday. The Pirates battled back from a first-half deficit; they leveraged an impressive 10-minute stretch bridging the third and fourth frames to earn a 66-48 triumph in front of a charged crowd at Rocky River Gymnasium.

River buried a season-high nine 3-pointers in what marked the program's third win in its last four efforts against Bay. Since March 5, 2019 -- a stretch of 74 games, the Pirates have only had one game (Feb. 24, 2023 vs. East Tech, 64%) where they exceeded Friday's effective field-goal mark of 61.1%. And the 18-point conquest marked River's largest winning margin against the Rockets since Dec. 9, 2011 (minus-21 in a 66-45 win).

The Pirates (5-3, 3-0 GLC West) made just three field goals in an opening quarter that saw the visitors jump out to a 14-10 lead. The Maroon & White pushed back with an 8-3 run early in the second period. Seniors Jaden Charney and Julian Patti ignited that rally. Each hit a triple over that stretch, and both would knock down a trio of treys for the game.

Rocky River and Bay (3-5, 0-1) went into halftime tied 28-28. The third quarter got the denizens of the Pirate Palestra fired up. After River ceded a lead to the Rockets, it made a statement by closing out the period on a 17-6 run. The Sons of Blackbeard filed a 75% eFG in the third.

That 17-6 surge would end up being part of a 25-8 run that delivered the home five to the middle minutes of the fourth with a comfortable lead. The final four minutes of action saw the Pirates easily close out  the home-court triumph.

For the game, the Double-R was a plus-6 in turnover margin, with the home side tying a season low with seven turnovers. The Buccaneers scored 16 points off Bay miscues.

Patti finished with a game-high 19 points. Michael Swallow had 10P and was a plus-23 in his time on the hardwood. Charney had a nine-point night. Danny Berg and Hakeem Zayed added 8P each. Berg's points and overall floor game were instrumental in the River takeover across the late second and third periods. The freshman guard also booked four assists.

Max Cockburn (15P), Brandan Spellman (12P), and Evan Alexy (10P) paced the Rockets, who have now lost three straight games.

Friday's game marked the back end of a War-by-the-Shore double-dip. The River girls team bested the Rockets 48-43 in the opener. On Feb. 9, the Pirates will play return games in a boys-girls doubleheader at Bay.

The next game for the Maroon & White will be Tuesday: the Pirates will host Bedford in a 7 p.m. non-conference tilt at the corner of Wagar & Detroit.

by Skip Snow

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