The Lady Ravens from Rocky River High School scored an important victory over their rival Independence with a hard fought 73-67 win on Friday night on the Lady Patriots home court.
The visitors took a comfortable 26-14 lead in the first period which was played with a great deal of enthusiasm by both teams. The Lady Ravens landed four three point shots which was the difference on the scoreboard. This was a very physical period from the start, and the tempo and intensity grew as the game progressed.
In the second period, the two teams battled back and forth with the Ravens outscoring the Patriots 16-15. Delayzha Dixon spread her wings and scored 18 points in the first half for the Lady Ravens. Meanwhile, sophomore Grace Breckenridge led the charge for Independence with 10 points. However, her rebounding, blocked shots and aggressive style of play made it very difficult for Rocky River to gain complete control of the first half. Therefore, the Ravens took a 42-29 advantage into the intermission knowing this game was far from being over.
In the third period, the ladies fought hard to gain an advantage, however, Rocky River did grab a foothold taking a 62-46 lead going into the final period primarily on three point shooting from Andresia Alexander and Mashya Scott. For the Patriots, sophomore Braylyn Milton began to find the range and hit two three pointers to keep the Patriots within striking distance. While, senior Sharonda Smith showed her leadership and composure on the court.
In the final period, the Lady Patriots outplayed the Ravens and outscored them by a 21-11 margin. In fact they were able to make this a four point game with 2:27 remaining in the contest. The Independence comeback was led by the trio of Milton, Breckenridge, and Ayanna Anderson. Also, juniors Azuria Barrino made a significant contribution, while Laura Flynn played very aggressively under the boards, and made some sharp accurate passes leading to easy scores for lay-ups.
In the end, it came down to foul shooting by each team. The Lady Ravens simply made more of their free throws in the final minute to secure the bragging rights, and obtain a key conference victory.
A point of interest, Ravens senior point guard Andresia Alexander scored her 1000th career point in the third period. She also finished with 19 points, Dixon led all scorers with 31 points, and Mashya Scott had 22 for the victors. Meanwhile, Milton scored 18 points, Breckenridge 18, and Anderson 14. Both Breckenridge and Anderson had double-doubles combining for 24 rebounds.