BAY VILLAGE, Ohio -- Rocky River was ousted from the Great Lakes Conference Tournament in a semifinal loss to the Bay Rockets on Wednesday. The Rockets doubled up the Double-R, 20-10, in the game's first period, and the Pirates couldn't muster a comeback against a Bay five which has now won 12 straight games this season. The Rockets outscored River in all four quarters and won the game by an 86-56 final.
No. 1-seed Bay outshot fifth-seeded Rocky River, 51% to 35%, for the game. In what was a physical, foul-ridden rivalry tussle, the Rockets gained leverage by hitting more second-chance buckets and looks in traffic. BHS pulled away in a second half that saw the home five go 19-of-32 from the field en route to scoring 50 points.
"We were undone by too many turnovers and some poor shooting early," said Head Coach Mike Murray, whose Pirates have now shot just 30.6 (91-of-297) from the floor over their last six games. "We got in a hole and lost confidence early."
The Maroon & White are now 1-5 over those last half-dozen games.
On Wednesday, River mixed a 29.4% (5-of-17) shooting performance with six turnovers in the 20-10 first frame. For the game, the Pirates were a minus-4 in turnovers and a minus-7 in rebounding margin.
Seniors Ashton Price (29 points) and Cullen Gergye (18) combined to lead a Bay offense which saw 11 players score points. Bay's 86 points for the game marked the most the Pirates have yielded in a single game since Jan. 4, 2019 (87 vs. Bay) and the most they've allowed in a regulation, 32-minute contest since Jan. 9, 2018 (105 vs. Holy Name). Sam Houk added nine points, seven boards, and three steals.
Rocky River (8-12) was led by the efforts of Braedon Spies (14 points, five rebounds, three assists, three steals), Robby Lang (13 points, 10 rebounds, three steals), and Tommy Bebie (11 points, nine boards).
With the result of Wednesday's game in the books, the Rockets advance to a league championship game against Holy Name. The Pirates will host the Fairview Warriors in a Saturday consolation tilt.
CANNON FIRE ...
WAR BY THE SHORE: Bay's victory marked the Rockets' third this season over the Pirates. The Rockets downed the Double-R, 60-50, in Bay Village on Jan. 5 and 63-57 in Rocky River on Feb. 5. Since 2015, Bay is now 15-1 against River. Since 2006, the west-side neighbors have clashed 38 times; each side has won 19 games.
DOUBLE-R DOUBLES: Robby Lang's performance marked the junior's fourth double-double of the season and the fifth of his career. On the season, Lang is averaging 105 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. He's averaged 8.0 RPG over his last 12 games.
by Skip Snow
# # # pirates # # #