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Mint Hill Rocky River Ravens on the Rise

By Andrew Stark

For four consecutive seasons the Rocky River girls basketball team has been ascending, but even to some of the team’s veterans something about this year feels a little different.

The change starts at the top, with first-year coach Epiphany Woodson taking the reigns of a program that won a school-record 19 games a season ago, up from 11 the previous season and 10 in 2010-11 after going winless in 2009-10.

Woodson, a former standout at Providence Day who later played at the University of Miami and for the Charlotte 49ers before a brief pro career overseas, was an assistant on last year’s state champion Myers Park team under Barbara Nelson, a Charlotte coaching legend who won seven state titles at Providence Day, including three with Woodson as her point guard.

But Woodson said she wasn’t thinking of coaching, and especially not in high school, last year. She had just come back from overseas and was settling into a corporate job when Nelson called and asked if she’d help out when she had time.

“Without that experience last year, this would be a lot tougher,” said Woodson, who has guided the Ravens to a 15-2 start to open the season. “Last year did prepare me for this, although I didn’t know it was coming.

“I knew (the Ravens) were talented and I knew that along with Butler they were the up-and-coming teams in the area, but I didn’t pay them that much attention last year except when they played Myers Park. When I started thinking about coaching, this is the job that I really wanted because I knew it was a great school with great facilities and I knew there was talent here. It’s been a blessing for me.”

And Woodson is right, there is no shortage of talent on Rocky River’s roster.

Sophomore guard Ariana Nance leads the team with 15.6 points per game, but six Ravens average 7.4 or more points and eight players average at least 2.2 rebounds per game, providing a depth most teams aren’t afforded on the high school level.

“Everyone is stepping up in different ways to do whatever they can to help our team win,” Woodson said. “They are stepping up their practice habits, their confidence is going up because they see how well they can play when they play together. They’ve played as a team during this stretch, and while we’ve had different individuals step up at different times and moments this year which makes us that much tougher.”

The stretch Woodson is referring to is an eight-game win streak entering their Jan. 20 matchup with Porter Ridge. […]

By |January 25th, 2015|Around Town, History, Rocky River High School, Sports|0 Comments

Local students study global issues – Raise money for school in South Sudan

By Michele Dotson   dotson.michele@minthilltimes.com

Students from both Independence and Rocky River High Schools have designed t-shirts with global messages aimed at making a difference in the world.

The Any1Can Project is an arts-based global service learning initiative that allows students to learn about seven complex global issues and create an original work of art on a white t-shirt.

The winning t-shirt designs in each of the seven categories will be mass produced to sell in retail establishments across Charlotte. […]

By |February 13th, 2014|Independence High School, Rocky River High School|0 Comments

Rocky River High Celebrates Success Launches First Annual Raven Fest

By Michele Dotson 
Staff Writer
dotson.michele@minthilltimes.com

Rocky River High’s First Annual Raven Fest was held on Thursday, October 31, from 12:30-2:05 pm. The school’s student government sponsored the event as a way to celebrate their achievements and share their school spirit.  
“We wanted to celebrate our students and our successes,” says Assistant Principal Quintin Chiles. “This is the […]

By |November 7th, 2013|Rocky River High School, Schools, Sports|5 Comments

Ravens drop heartbreaker to Sun Valley, 49-46

In a see-saw battle, the Rocky River Ravens boys’ basketball team was beaten on their home court by the Sun Valley Spartans last Friday night 49-46. These two teams met just nine days earlier on the Spartans’ home floor with Sun Valley prevailing 45-42. Although the margin of victory for the Spartans was the same the second time around, the Ravens nearly came out with a win this time. This was an evenly matched game from the start.

The Ravens and Spartans both played stingy, albeit different, zone defenses. New head coach Jason Buzzard’s Ravens periodically switched from a standard 2-3 defense to a trapping 1-3-1. Both types were effective at times.  Sun Valley stayed in an active matchup 2-3 zone that the Ravens had a hard time penetrating.  The defenses really dictated the flow of the game, that is to say, there wasn’t any.  Most of the scoring in the first half was from loose balls and turnovers.  The two teams’ zone offenses had their moments but for the most part were ineffective.  The Ravens lead at the end of the first quarter 13-10 and 27-24 at the half.

Both teams made adjustments at the half.  Sun Valley was able to get the ball inside the Ravens’ zone in the first two minutes of the half and grabbed the lead 30-29.  Rocky River was intent on pressing the Spartans, hoping for some turnovers which would lead to easy buckets.  It worked to a degree but the Ravens also committed more fouls in the frenetic pace. The Spartans outscored the Ravens 15-7 in the third quarter and led 39-34 to start the fourth quarter.

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By |December 13th, 2012|Rocky River High School, Sports|0 Comments