The Rocky River Ravens boys’ basketball team bounced back after two tough losses to defeat the Myers Park Mustangs at home.
This game was another matchup between two evenly matched teams in the tightly bunched Southwestern 4A Conference. The teams entered the game with identical 3-3 conference records.
Head Coach Jason Buzzard had his squad firing on all cylinders right from the outset.
Senior Forward Kendall Burton came out hot, hitting three consecutive three-pointers and scoring 12 total points in the quarter. The Ravens led 21-10 at the end of the first quarter and really never looked back.
The Mustangs made the defensive adjustment on Burton in the second quarter, which opened up the lane for lightning- quick point guard Senior Sidney Lawson to have his way. Lawson scored six of his 17 total points in the quarter, but it was also his harassing defense that led to turnovers and easy baskets for his teammates. The half ended with Rocky River doubling up Myers Park 32-16.
Myers Park came out in desperation mode for the second half. They pressed and attempted to speed up the game in order to catch up. Again Lawson took control, handling the press almost flawlessly. The Mustangs did manage to close the gap to 10 points in the middle of the fourth quarter, but the Ravens reeled off the next five points to effectively put the game out of reach.╩ The final score showed the Ravens winning 64-48.
The Ravens were led in scoring by Sidney Lawson with 17 points and Kendall Burton with 14. Sophomore Center Isaiah Grimes-Thomas chipped in 10 points.
The Boys’ Junior Varsity team lost a close game to the Mustangs 40-35.
As noted before, the Ravens are a guard-oriented team. This can be an advantage when outside shots are falling, which they were in this game. Conversely, as we noted in the S. Mecklenburg game, when the outside shots are not falling, the Ravens have struggled to score. It did appear however that in this game the Ravens were trying not to rely so much on their perimeter game. There seemed to be a concerted effort by the team to drive to the basket. This will get the team to the free throw line more and get the opposing team in foul trouble. It’s a good adjustment by the coaching staff.
Sophomore Forward C.J. Miller leads the team in both scoring and rebounding for the season.
The Ravens current record is 6-10 and 4-3 in conference.
Next week’s games are: 1/29 at home versus the Butler Bulldogs, which previously lost to the Ravens 78-76; 1/30 at the Providence Panthers (make-up of postponed game) which was defeated by Rocky River 70-47 earlier in the season; and 2/1 at home against the S. Mecklenburg Sabres which demolished the Ravens in January 64-31.