MEDINA, Ohio -- The Pirates gave a game effort but came up short in an upset bid against a talented Bucks five, as Rocky River lost to Buckeye 62-60 in Tuesday night Great Lakes Conference Tournament action.
Rocky River (9-9) trailed by as many as 12 points late in the third quarter, but the Sons of Blackbeard battled back with an impressive fourth-quarter performance. River got exceptional backcourt play in the comeback. Tremendous north-south passing set up forward Robby Lang for 26 points, and the Pirates got big fourth-frame 3-pointers and some fine defense from Gavin O'Brien, Justin Gina, and Braedon Spies. After failing to force any Buckeye turnovers in a first half won 37-26 by the home five, Double-R guards led the way in forcing nine miscues in the second half.
But it would be the distance shooting of senior guard Danny Flood that cut short every River rally. Flood knocked down five treys in scoring a game-high 30 points for the Bucks. And that Bucks team -- the No. 2 seed from the GLC East -- is now bound for a GLC semifinal. Buckeye will face West No. 4 Elyria Catholic on Friday.
On Tuesday, Rocky River shot 38.1% (24-of-63) from the field. Buckeye shot 42.6% (20-of-47). Both teams made seven 3-pointers. The Bucks outscored the Pirates at the line 15-5; River was under 50% on 11 throws.
Lang added nine rebounds and a pair of blocks to his line in the box score. River also got solid production from Spies (12 points, four assists), O'Brien (11 points, eight rebounds), and Gina (three points, three assists).
CANNON FIRE ...
YOUNG BUCS: River was bested 43-37 in Tuesday's freshman game at Buckeye. The junior varsity contest was a taut battle with 18 ties and lead changes. The Pirates came out on top, 41-37. Hakeem Zayed tallied 19 points for the Maroon & White.
BUCS & BUCKS: Rocky River and Buckeye have engaged in four straight games decided by five points-or-less. ... The Pirates had 14 offensive rebounds Tuesday. The Pirates have now averaged 15.3 offensive boards per game over their last three contests. Robby Lang has hauled down 12 offensive rebounds over that span. ... Lang went 10-of-16 from the field at Buckeye. The senior forward is shooting 61.7% (29-of-47) over the team's last three games.
BRIDGE CROSS-OVER: The league tournament runs through Feb. 18, but ousted teams can now return to regular-season play. Rocky River will host Lakewood in a GLC crossover game on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
by Skip Snow
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