Porter Ridge defeats Ravens in overtime 86-77 in conference clash

Stephon Richards gets airborne. (Paul Imirie)
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The Pirates from Porter Ridge took charge in the 4:00 minute overtime period to improve their Southwestern 4A Conference record to 3-2 when they outscored Rocky River 18-9 to achieve a hard-fought victory which had the game tied at 68-68 in regulation. The Ravens are now 2-2 in the conference.

Ravens for two points. (Paul Imirie)

In the first period, the Ravens opened up with a quick 6-0 run before Trajan Hamilton of the Pirates would swish a 3-pointer to cut the lead at 6:41 on the scoreboard clock. The Ravens Nick Burns would promptly counter hitting a 3-pointer from the corner. Both teams battled hard looking for an advantage in their transition game and shooting around the perimeter from the 3-point range.

The first big moment came when the Pirates Aaron Hough netted his first 3-pointer with 2:21 remaining, then he would hit on a short jump shot, and Dilen Miller followed with another 2 point jumper giving the home team a 22-17 lead. However, Christian Rudisell for the Ravens swished a 3-pointer with 27.1 seconds remaining to end the period scoring. The Pirates held a slim 22-20 lead.

Christian Rudisell scoring. (Paul Imirie)

In the second, the two teams continued the same running style game they have been playing, however, as time passed, the defenses slowed down the pace giving both teams a breather as they tried to set-up plays. With the score 30-24, Rudisell scored two consecutive baskets to make the score 30-28 with 1:38 on the scoreboard clock. He was fouled but missed the free throw. Rocky River scored on their next possession to tie the score at 30-30. However, with time running out the Pirates drilled a 3-pointer to take a 33-30 half-time advantage.

During the intermission, there was some confusion at the official scorer’s table about the score as the scoreboard showed 33-31 Pirates with a slim lead. After some discussion, the official scorer took a point off from the Ravens which would have given them a one-point victory in regulation 69-68. This situation is very unfortunate and should not occur.

Tobia Forte fouled driving to the hoop. (Paul Imirie)

In the third period, Tobias Forte stepped up his game for the Ravens and scored the first two baskets, Burns hit a 3-pointer at the 6:10 mark, Forte sunk 2 free throws, and Porter Ridge countered with a 3-pointer, Burns again for 3, and Aaron Hall got into the scoring column by shooting 3-4 from the foul line. Meanwhile, the Pirates just kept scoring and the Ravens were chasing most of the period. Burns struck again on probably the nicest play of the game, he turned in a nifty reverse lay-up that electrified the visitors from Rocky River with 44 seconds on the clock to bring the Ravens within two points. However, the Pirates struck back with two power moves to the basket to maintain a 53-47 lead after three.

Calik “Duke” Thomas takes a jumper. (Paul Imirie)

In the fourth period, the Ravens mounted their comeback, Burns led the charge offensively connecting on two 3-pointers with excellent defensive work by Calik “Duke” Thomas who had two huge blocks in the period. While Stephon Richards, Thomas, and Rudisell all contributed. For the Pirates, Hough continued to hit some 3’s along with Hamilton, and Christian Capers all made a significant contribution to help the home team hold off the running Ravens at this point in the game. With score 68-66 and 9.4 seconds remaining in regulation, Thomas fouled Hough, he calmly swished both free throws to tie the score at 68 sending the game into overtime.

Ravens making a 3-pointer. (Paul Imirie)

During the overtime, the Ravens struck first on a baseline drive by Rudisell, Richards would make a lay-up, and Thomas would make another block forcing the Pirates to call a timeout and regroup. When they returned, the momentum swung 180 degrees in the Pirates favor as they extended their lead to 80-75 with 55 seconds remaining. It now became a free throw game as the Ravens had to foul and play against the clock. Rudisell sunk two free throws with 16.4 seconds remaining to make the score 84-77, but this game was over as the Pirates added to more free throws going 6-6 in the final minute.

The Pirates leading scorers were Aaron Hough who led all scorers with 22 points, Hamilton had 16 while a host of Pirates contributed 9 or less. For the Ravens Burns scored 21, Thomas 16, Rudisell 14 and Richards 14.

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