The Independence High School Patriots broke open the game in a close contest in the third period in their hometown rivalry game with the Rocky River Ravens. In a span of just over one minute Patriots guard Jordan Mobley hit three straight 3-pointers which would widen the gap of a small 4 point lead.
The Patriots victory assures Indy of being the regular season champion of the Southwestern 4A Conference. They are now 22-1 overall and 13-0 in their conference with one game remaining against Myers Park on Friday night. While Rocky River falls to 17-5 overall and 10-3 in the conference assured of second place for the upcoming playoff tournament in their league. The Ravens will play Garinger at the Ravens Nest Friday night.
The Ravens senior point guard Jordan Campbell did not play due to a knee injury recently sustained against Porter Ridge. This put the job on freshman Khalil Brantley and Tray Williams in particular to step up. They both played well, however, the senior leadership of Campbell was missing as he is an integral piece of the puzzle for the Ravens success this season.
In the first half the Patriots had a 14 point lead, however, Rocky River chipped away and the half ended with Indy ahead 43-32. In the third period, with 3:52 seconds remaining Khalil Brantley penetrated the lane and and made a lay-up to make the score 49-45.
This is when Mobley took over and hit 2 straight 3-pointers for a 55-47 advantage. After Ravens Jaden Springer hit a jump shot, Mobley then landed another 3-pointer and was fouled. He made the free throw giving him a four point play and the Patriots now had a 59-47 lead. The athletic Patriots with guards Raja Milton and Andra Mckee followed by hitting on two more 3-pointers putting Indy up 65-51. Then Miles Pauldin converted on a rebound and lay-up was fouled. He landed his free throw to complete the 3 point play putting the Patriots up 68-55 with just 35.9 seconds remaining in the period. The Ravens bounced back and still trailed after three 68-59.
In the fourth and final period the teams battled back and forth like two prize fighters in the ring. With Rocky River keeping pace just nine points down Indy went on an 8-0 run to widen the gap to 80-63 with just 3:33 seconds remaining on the scoreboard clock. The teams exchanged baskets the rest of the game, but the Ravens could not mount any comeback.
The Patriots Jordan Mobley scored 23 points, Andra Mckee 19, Raja Milton 15, and Matt Smith 14. Senior leader Jamarius Burton contributed 11 points, however, his dominance was the 10 rebounds and 14 assists to control the tempo of the game in key situations.
Meanwhile, Ravens sophomore standout Jaden Springer had 35 points, Narique Smith 15 and Khalil Brantley chipped in 13 for Rocky River in the loss.