Ragin’ Bulls rumble past Rocky River at Ravens Nest 65-50

Ravens Nick Burns drives to the hoop for two points. (Paul Imirie)
Calik Thomas inside the paint for two points. (Paul Imirie)
Christian Rudisell scoring on a baseline drive. (Paul Imirie)
Ravens number 14 for a lay-up. (Paul Imirie)
Stephon Richards driving and is fouled. (Paul Imirie)

The Rocky River Ravens basketball team completed a tough week with two consecutive losses to conference rival Hickory Ridge from Harrisburg. They lost on the road Wednesday 67-63 in a close basketball game. Then at the Ravens Nest on Friday night they were manhandled under the boards by the bigger and more physical team.

The Bulls who are very physical pushed the Ravens around in a gallant comeback during the final period. However, on hot 3-point shooting by the visitors Jordan Marsh in the closing minutes of the contest cemented the final outcome. Along with poor free-throw shooting by the Ravens throughout the game. They missed 17 foul shots which certainly played an important factor in the score.

In the first period, the two teams sparred evenly with the Ravens taking a slim 13-12 lead on a 3-pointer by Nick Burns in the closing seconds of the period. The Ravens competed under the boards and appeared to be as physical as the three big men for the Bulls. The teams were playing solid defense, the tempo was fast, and looked much like a repeat of Wednesday’s contest in Harrisburg.

The second period was much of the same with the two teams battling for an advantage. However, this time it was the Ragin’ Bulls getting the best of the Ravens scoring 12 points to the home teams 7. The Ravens missed some important free throws that eventually would come back to bite them. In fact, they missed 5 of 6 opportunities which is simply not acceptable.

With the score at 18-15 late in the period, Christian Rudisell would steal a pass and streak down court on a fast break, he drove hard to the basket for the layup with a Bull in hot pursuit and scored. The Ravens were now within 3 points at 20-17 and 1:55 remaining on the scoreboard clock.

The Bulls promptly scored to take a 22-17 lead, the Ravens Calik “Duke” Thomas would match with a baseline drive with 1:11 remaining. With the score at 20-19 Thomas would make 1-2 free throws at 34.9 seconds to tie at 20-20, however, Hickory Ridge controlled the final 30 seconds and scored 4 more points to take a 24-20 advantage at the intermission.

In the third period, the more physical Bulls started to take control of this basketball game. Shane Fernald 6’7″, Zion Gunther 6’7″, and Tucker Johnson 6-‘5″ made their presence known. The Bulls outscored the Ravens 21-7 and made four clean blocks of Ravens shots under the boards and threw their weight around. The officials let the teams play until it became too physical. The Ravens went to the foul line and proceeded not to capitalize on free throws which would have kept them close.

With 4:00 minutes remaining in the period, the score opened up to a 33-22 Bulls lead. By the time the period ended the visitors expanded their edge to 45-27 their biggest lead of the contest.

In the final frame, the gallant Ravens who never quit on coach Mike Malpass had their run and were able to get within 10 points at 45-35 when Burns scored on a 3 pointer from the top of the key with 6:00 minutes remaining in the game. Then with 5:10 on the clock, Jordan Marsh started shooting and swishing 3-pointers. In fact, he went 3-3 in the final minutes to score 10 points on a 4 point play after being fouled on a shot from the cheap seats to give the Bulls a 61-42 lead with 1:53 remaining.

However, the outcome was certain as the Ravens fought back hard but came up short after missing additional foul shots which would have kept the score more respectable.

Jordan Marsh led all scorers with 27 points, and 10 in the final minutes, Caleb Foster added 16 for the Ragin’ Bulls. Meanwhile, Thomas had 14, Richards 13, and Burns contributed 9 points for the Ravens who are now 8-9 overall, and 4-6 in the Southwestern 4A Conference. The Ragin’ Bulls are now 16-4 overall, and 8-2 in the conference.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran’s affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
Ed can be reached at ed@minthilltimes.com, eberti7777@gmail.com and linkedin.com.