The Rocky River Ravens defeat Butler in the fourth round of the 2018 NCHSAA 4A State Basketball Tournament at the Ravens Nest to advance to the Final Four. First year Coach Moseley’s team will play their hometown rival Independence Patriots for the West Regional Championship in Winston-Salem at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Saturday March 3rd. The winner will play the East Regional Bracket Champion on March 10th for the state title.
The Ravens and Bulldogs have met three times previously this season and the margin of victory ranged between one and five points which is really competitive basketball. In the last two games both teams won by one point over their rival. This time around it was another classic battle between two very evenly matched clubs. The teams met four times this season splitting them, the Ravens winning two on their home court which includes Tuesday night.
At the end of the first period the Ravens held a four point lead with an 18-14 advantage. However, in the second period the Bulldogs outscored their rival 18-10 to take a 32-28 lead at the intermission. Super sophomore Jaden Springer had 14 points, while Darlinstone Dubar contributed 8 for the Ravens, meanwhile, Raquan Brown led the Bulldogs with 11 points and DJ little added 9.
After the third period we were back to a one point game with the Ravens beginning to make a second half run at the Bulldogs scoring 20 points to Butler’s 17 hanging on to a slim 49-48 lead.
In the fourth and final period the Ravens hitting key three point shots and riding the back of Springer who decided to take over the game they outscored the Bulldogs 20-16 for the victory. Butler senior DJ Little got himself into foul trouble in the second half and fouled out with 4:19 seconds remaining in the contest. This was a huge loss for the Bulldogs emotionally and mentally. Like every good team the Ravens took full advantage of the opportunity and quickly used their athleticism to run and shoot up and down the court while applying a full court press and excellent defense to shut down any comeback hopes. The Bulldogs were forced to foul and Springer landed all four free throws to ice the game.
Springer led all scorers with 28 points, Dubar and Trayden Williams contributed 11 points for the Ravens. In a losing effort Raquan Brown scored 23 points, Gerrale Gates 14, DJ Little and Jalen Gibson added 11 points each.