Rocky River wins First Round of 2018 Basketball Championships 83-58

Ravens Marcus Evans positioning for rebound. (Craig Curtis)
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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.

Ravens Khalil Brantley with a lay-up. (Craig Curtis)

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.

Ravens Darlinstone Dubar and Raiders Brandon Hanna compete for opening tip-off. (Craig Curtis)

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.

D-Stone Dubar with reverse lay-up. (Ed Berti)

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.

Ravens Jaelyn Lewis finishing a drive for two points. (Ed Berti)

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 finishes slam dunk. (Craig Curtis)

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.

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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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