The Rocky River Ravens beat the Ronald Reagan High School Raiders from Pfafftown, NC in the first round of the 2018 Men’s Basketball 4A Championships by an 83-58 score on their home court in the cozy confines of the Ravens Nest.
The Ravens dominated from the outset and especially from midway through the first period of competition. Jaden Springer was clearly the best player on the court, while Darlinstone Dubar, controlled the boards and a combination of Marcus Evans, Elijah Sidbury, Tray Williams, Khalil Brantley, Narique Smith and Jaelyn Lewis along with a solid bench all made significant contributions to the victory.
After the first period the Ravens had a 23-12 lead and by intermission a 48-31 advantage based solely on their excellent athletic ability to run up and down the court at a very fast pace, applying a crushing full court press leading to turnovers, while dominating the boards with Springer, Dubar, Evans, Smith and Lewis. Meanwhile, both Tray Williams and Brantley made some good penetrating drives to the basket and Sidbury swishing a 3 pointer. Rocky River did not shoot well in the first half from a percentage standpoint and they could have scored more points.
In the second half the Ravens set the tempo of the game while Springer scored 10 points in the third period leading the charge and outscoring the Raiders 22-14 to open up an already comfortable lead to 70-45.
In the final period Ravens Coach Jason Moseley sat down Springer after just one minute of playing time. He also pulled Dubar after 2:07 into the period and others. By the time there was 5:00 minutes remaining in the game the entire bench played evenly 13-13 with the Raiders first team providing a final outcome of 83-58 in a convincing win. The West bracket is loaded with North Mecklenburg seeded Number 1, Independence Number 2 and Audrey Kell Number 7. The Number 9 Ravens have an uphill battle to climb.
Jaden Springer led all scorers with 25 points, Dubar contributed 18 for the Ravens while Brandon Hanna and Jalen Deatherage scored 16 for the Raiders. Rocky River will play an away game against Number 8 seed Hopewell High School on Thursday night in Round 2.