ROCKY RIVER, Ohio – The Pirates gutted out a 57-55 victory over Normandy in Great Lakes Conference action Saturday afternoon.
Senior forward Anne Beirne led the way for Rocky River, posting a double-double (18 points, 13 rebounds) on what marked Senior Day for the Pirate program. River and Normandy battled back and forth in a contest marked by slim leads for both sides throughout. The game didn’t have so much as a six-point spread from the middle of the second quarter-on.
“The girls took our scouting report and really executed today,” said Head Coach Elaine Robinson. “They went hard, played a full 32 minutes, and to play that way on Senior Day feels great for our program.”
The visiting Invaders chipped their way to an eight-point lead (26-18) over the first 12 minutes of play. Mid-second the Pirates (8-12, 6-6 GLC) scored eight points on three trips down the floor, getting threes from Beirne and Hanna Chapman and a bucket from Nani Meese. The result was a 26-26 score.
Normandy bolted away from that tie with a 5-0 run; the Invaders would take a 31-28 lead into halftime.
The opening minutes of the third quarter were an even exchange, but when Anne Beirne drained a three at the 4:45-mark, the scoreboard digits were once again tangled, 36-36. Back-and-forth play carried both scores into the 40s.
Over the final 40 seconds of the third, River got buckets from Beirne and Rachel Moeller, and the Pirates finished the quarter with a 46-43 lead.
Mid-fourth the Invaders vaulted into a 51-49 lead on a 3-pointer. Two buckets by Beirne and then a basket by Meese on a nifty pass from Bridget McCue lifted Rocky River to a 55-51 lead by the 1:20-mark.
The final 80 ticks were comprised a few made free throws and a great many more misses. And then a desperation miss of a long Normandy three at the buzzer. Rocky River got to the line 18 times in the fourth quarter; the Pirates would convert on just five of those tosses from the charity stripe. For the game, River and Normandy went a combined 13-of-40 (32.5 percent) from the foul line.
For the game, Rocky River was a plus-13 on the boards and a plus-1 on the turnover exchange.
Meese backed up Beirne’s 18 points with 14 of her own on an impressive 6-for-12 performance from the field. Bridget McCue had a team-high 11 rebounds – five on the offensive glass.
“Our seniors were terrific today,” said Robinson. “And I feel like a game like this puts us in a good frame of mind heading into the playoffs.”
CANNON FIRE …
YOUNG BUCS: River’s freshmen topped Normandy, 40-31, in Saturday’s freshman game. Emily Hollabaugh scored 17 points. In Saturday’s JV game, Normandy countered with a 30-27 victory.
ON DECK: The Pirates will host Lorain in a non-conference game on Monday (7:30 p.m.).
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