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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

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

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.
[…]

By |February 1st, 2013|Sports|10 Comments

Rocky River girls lose to Myers Park

The Rocky River Ravens girls’ basketball team was defeated by the Myers Park Mustangs 59-32 on the Ravens home court. 

The loss for the Ravens wasn’t totally unexpected. Myers Park is the number one ranked girls’ team in the state and number 17 in the entire nation. Rocky River was simply overmatched in all areas. The Mustangs used a combination of size, speed, and experience to overwhelm the young Ravens squad.

Early on the Ravens played even. Both teams came out pressing and the score was tied at four apiece midway through the first quarter. That’s when the dam broke for Rocky River. Myers Park substituted in an entire second team.
That depth took the wind out of the sails of the Ravens. Myers Park scored the next 12 points in a row and the quarter ended with the Mustangs leading 16-5.

[…]

By |February 1st, 2013|Sports|1 Comment