Local graduates stand out

Derek Lacey / Staff Writer

Makaylah Heyward, Rocky River High School

Makaylah Heyward is the definition of a standout student, involved in plenty of extracurriculars, a leader among her peers, and driven.

She transferred from Harding University High School to Rocky River to start her junior year, and had already been the captain of the volleyball team, a member of JROTC, and a volunteer at a local rehabilitation center, where she was introduced to physical therapy, which she intends to study in college.

At Rocky River, she serves as Battalion Commander and Lieutenant Colonel with the JROTC, which started at Rocky River the same year she did.

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Raven boys fly past Mustangs, 64-68

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.
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Rocky River Ravens boys basketball grounded by South Mecklenburg 66-31

The Rocky River Ravens boys’ basketball team was beaten by the South Mecklenburg Sabres last Friday by the score of 64-31. The 4A Southwestern Conference game was played on the Sabres’ home court.

Leading up to the game, the two teams appeared to be evenly matched.  Each team came into this game with identical 4-7 overall records.  The Ravens were 2-0 in the Conference and the Sabres were 1-1.

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Rocky River girls basketball defeats South Mecklenburg 53-36

The Rocky River Ravens girls’ basketball team walloped the South Mecklenburg Sabres 53-36 in an away game for the Ravens.

This game was very competitive in the first half.  Rocky River’s pressure half-court defense forced a few early turnovers by S. Meck.  The Ravens jumped out to a 6-0 lead as they held the Sabres scoreless for the first five minutes.  The Sabres settled down from there and actually held the lead at the end of the first quarter at 10-9.  The Ravens were getting good shots but they couldn’t get them to fall.

The second quarter was a back and forth affair.  The Sabres led by as many as three points and the Ravens’ largest lead was the halftime score of 22-19.  Head Coach Odis Gadson substituted liberally as all nine Rocky River players saw action.  At the half Freshman Guard Makayla Carter led the Ravens’ balanced scoring with six points.  Carter made two of three shots from three point range.

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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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Rocky River girls dominate Sun Valley, 49-36

By Kevin Baker

Sports Writer
kevin@minthilltimes.com

The Rocky River Ravens girls’ basketball team defeated the game but overmatched the Sun Valley Spartans last Friday night 49-36 on the Ravens’ home court. This was the second time the Ravens and Spartans have played this year. The Ravens won the first meeting, at Sun Valley, 39-36.
The Raven girls had to come from behind in that game to pull out the win. There was no such drama this time around. The final score was not indicative of the Ravens’ dominance.
The Ravens were intent to set the tempo from the beginning. They won the tap and immediately went inside the lane. The shot was missed, but the strategy was apparent. Rocky River wanted to push the pace. In fact, both teams came out of the locker room pressing full court. This seemed to play right into the Ravens’ girls hands as they shot out to a 16-5 lead. Sun Valley fought back to 16-10 in the last minute of the first quarter. Rocky River had the ball last and worked the clock down for the last shot. Senior Center Aliyah Hason scored on a pretty inside move at the buzzer and the quarter ended with Rocky River leading 18-10.
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