CANAL WINCHESTER, Ohio -- Rocky River was felled in a pre-holiday Pirate duel on Thursday. The Maroon & White were undone 60-58 in a matinee overtime battle against the Wheelersburg Pirates.
Wheelersburg (6-2) -- now winners of three in a row -- went into the fourth quarter trailing by three points, 38-35. The Pirates outscored Rocky River 17-14 in that quarter and then topped the Roundball Raiders from River in an 8-6 extra session. In a game that figured as a hard-fought tussle throughout, Wheelersburg outscored Rocky River 11-4 at the free-throw line.
"Those chances at the line were big," said head coach Mike Murray. "We just did not make our free throws."
River went just 4-of-13 (30.8%) on its uncontested 15-footers. Wheelersburg went 11-of-15 (73.3%). The 7-point swing loomed large in a neutral-floor battle that was close all the way.
"We had our chances in regulation and again in overtime," said Murray. "But I am proud of our effort. These types of games will definitely help us moving forward."
Rocky River (2-2) was led by Braedon Spies (15 points) and Will DeClerck (13). [Full game stats unavailable at time of publication.]
The game was part of Holiday Hoopfest, a 14-game cavalcade of basketball hosted by Harvest Prep High School. The Pirates will return to action in their own holiday bracket event when Rocky River hosts the RBA Holiday Classic Dec. 28-29. The Sons of Blackbeard will square off against Padua at 5 p.m. in their Tuesday game.
by Skip Snow
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