ROCKY RIVER, Ohio – The Pirates opened their 2018 home season on Tuesday, and the Sons of Blackbeard gave the home crowd plenty to cheer about as Rocky River defeated Wellington, 68-48.
Rocky River (2-0) shot a robust 56.3 percent (27-of-48) from the floor in taking down the Dukes in wire-to-wire fashion. The victory served as a measure of retribution for the Pirates, who were downed by Wellington in each of the last two seasons.
Senior Luke Coyne went 9-of-11 in piling up a game-high 20 points on the night. Coyne was on fire early, scoring 14 of River’s first 26 points on the night. With an effective five-man passing attack, the Maroon & White built a 20-7 lead by the end of the first quarter.
“Our offense looked really good in the first quarter,” said Head Coach Mike Murray. “I though our ball movement was exceptional.”
A late-half run lifted the Rocky River lead to 17-point lead (37-20) by halftime. That cushion was preserved throughout much of the third quarter, but a solid Wellington effort whittled the Pirate lead to 13 (49-36) by the final minute of the period.
“Give credit to Wellington,” said Murray. “They came at us all night.”
A buzzer-beating three-ball by junior guard Tommy Ruma had the Pirates in front, 52-36, when the third ended. Midway through the fourth, a Ruma steal-and-layup lifted the River lead to 20 (63-43). Much of the remainder of the contest was a back-and-forth exchange played out by younger depth contributors on both sides. Ruma finished the game with 10 points, three assists and a pair of steals.
“Tommy and Connor [O’Toole] did a great job against their pressure,” said Murray, whose Pirates are 2-0 to start a season for the first time since 2014-15. “Luke and Cristain [Dean] were a good combo for us, and Charlie [Hudson] was great off the bench.”
Coyne added seven rebounds to his 20-point night. He has scored 39 points over River’s first two games. Dean knocked down three treys in scoring 10 points on the night; he also had five assists. Hudson logged five points, seven boards and three assists in leading the buccaneer bench bunch. He went 4-of-4 at the free-throw line, leading the Maroon & White to an 8-of-11 night overall. Grant Eversman had nine points.
The Pirates will be at home again Friday when they open Great Lakes Conference play with a 7:30 p.m. tilt against the Parma Redmen.
CANNON FIRE …
YOUNG BUCS: Rocky River defeated Wellington, 43-39, in JV action on Tuesday. Jack Schill (nine points) and Braedon Spies (six) led the Pirates in scoring.
HIGH-VALUE COYNE: Luke Coyne is now shooting 70.8 percent (17-of-24) on the season. On Tuesday, Coyne was 7-of-8 on two-point attempts and 2-of-3 from beyond the 3-point arc.
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