ROCKY RIVER, Ohio — The Pirates suffered a buzzer-beater loss, as Lutheran West defeated Rocky River, 49-48, in a back-and-forth neighborhood tussle on Saturday.
Junior guard Paris Mather drained the game-winning shot off an in-bound play, time expiring as the ball snapped the net. The home-court victory extended what is now a nine-game win streak. The 17-3 Longhorns haven’t lost Jan. 9. Lutheran West is 14-1 since Dec. 8.
The Longhorns looked to be well on their way to a more routine streak-extending win after Saturday’s first period. The home five built a 16-7 lead over the game’s first eight minutes. But that’s when a resolved River squad battled back.
Behind the play of the Potts sisters — Julia and Maria, the Pirate offense got in gear. River’s sophomore duo combined to score 11 points in a period that saw the Pirates outscore the Longhorns, 21-13. Freshman center Kelsey Murphy added six in the second, and the Maroon & White trailed by just one (29-28) when the River foes broke for halftime.
The rest of the contest was a see-saw affair, with ties and lead changes exchanged through an 8-8 third and a 12-12 fourth, that up until the final tick of the clock was a 12-10 period in Rocky River’s favor.
Murphy finished the game with 15 points and 16 rebounds. The rookie pivot went 8-of-16 from the field. Julia Potts added 11 points, six boards and four assists. Maria Potts logged 10 points and six rebounds. Maria Potts also had six steals in the game; she and Grace Harte were standouts on defense.
Larnae Vance scored a game-high 21 to lead the Longhorns.
The Pirates (7-14) went 21-of-49 (42 percent) from the floor; the Longhorns countered with a 27-percent (18-of-66) shooting performance. Both sides struggled from the free-throw line (RR 6-of-12, 50 percent; LW 9-of-20, 45 percent). Lutheran West was a plus-13 in turnovers; Rocky River was a plus-9 on the boards.
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