Rocky River Downs Charlotte Catholic 67-58 Remains in First Place

Henry Price scoring a basket. (Photos by Paul Imirie)
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MINT HILL, NC – The Ravens who play some of their best basketball at the “Ravens Nest” continued to soar on their homecourt. The Ravens house where the public announcer chants “Proud Boys” and gets the crowd fired up can be an intimating environment for visiting teams. The gym is large, with bright lighting, high ceilings, and loud fans who are firmly behind their team.

Pat Tivnan grabs a rebound for the Cougars.

Rocky River entered this game at 5-1 in 4A Conference 59 competition and needed this win to remain on top against a resilient Cougar team who never quits, they always play to the final buzzer. Charlotte Catholic entered the contest tied with East Mecklenburg at 5-2, after the game the Cougars now find themselves in third place. While the Ravens stand firmly in first place at 6-1.

The two teams exchanged baskets in a fast-paced basketball game right from the tipoff. The Cougars shooting guard Peter Rossitch buried two consecutive 3-pointers in the opening period. Javares Green for the Ravens countered with his own 3-pointer to keep the home team on track, then followed with a jumper. Meanwhile, Jaden Lyles added 4 points, Anthony James Franchi 3, Henry Price 2, and they added free throw to complete the scoring for the Ravens. Patrick Tivnan added 7 points, and Jake Kernodle 2 points as the first period ended tied at 15-15.

Jaden Lyles making a free throw.

During the second period Rocky River was able to open up a 5 point advantage mainly on the back of Henry Price who was playing with utter abandon at this juncture of the game. He scored 12 points in the period while mixing it up inside the paint with the Cougars two big men Tivnan 6’8″ and Vaughn Thomas 6’6″ in the battle under the boards. Price stands at 6’5″ and is the tallest player on the Ravens roster. At halftime the Ravens had a well earned 34-29 edge against the pesky Cougars.

In the second half, this game tightened as Thomas sparked a potential Cougars comeback.  But the third period was mostly a defensive game as both teams forced turnovers and played aggressively on defense. Senior Anthony James Franchi, a small forward at 6’3″ played like he was 6’8″ and went toe to toe under the boards, he pulled down 9 rebounds for the Ravens in the contest making a strong statement. After the dust settled the Ravens maintained a comfortable lead 44-38 after three periods.

However, in the final period, both offenses exploded and the teams matched baskets. Vaughn Thomas went on a roll scoring 11 points and swishing three 3-pointers for the Cougars. While Rossitch added a 3-pointer of his own. The Ravens dialed it up with good scoring from Jaden Lyles 6 points, and Green with 6. The teams combined for 43 points in the period, Bacchus drilled a 3-pointer from the corner baseline for the Ravens as well.

Bottom line this game came down to the free throws at the end of the contest with under a minute remaining. Senior Will Ham played an integral role in the final outcome of this contest. Down the stretch he made 5-6 free throws to seal the victory for the Ravens as the Cougars went 0-6.

Senior Javares Green had 17 points, Henry Price scored 17, and Will Ham contributed 8 points for the victors. While Thomas led all scorers with 19 points, Tivnan 13, Rossitch 11, and Josh Williams 10.

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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.
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