Rocky title game for the Potters

East Liverpool’s Tre Jackson drives to the basket as Rocky River’s John Ruma defends on Friday.

EAST LIVERPOOL–Rocky River coach Michael Murray felt right at home as the Pirates came away with a 61-40 win over East Liverpool in the championship game of the Potter Holiday Classic Tournament on Saturday at Potter Fieldhouse.

“It was special to come back here and play in this tournament,” Rocky River head coach Michael Murray said. “My dad’s from Wellsville and mom is from East Liverpool. This area is very well known for basketball and it was special to come back here to play.”

Rocky River is 2-6 on the season.

This was only the second game that featured the regular Rocky River starting five.

“We were struggling earlier in the season with health,” Murray said. “Oliver Clingain was out with pneumonia and Marco Feightner is getting over bronchitis had some playing time tonight.”

Clingain led the Pirates in scoring with 15 points.

East Liverpool falls to 5-2 on the season.

East Liverpool fell behind early in the game, getting down 20-9 at the end of the first quarter and 35-22 at the half.

“We didn’t play our style of basketball tonight,” East Liverpool coach Nate Conley said. “Rocky River had a lot to do with that by controlling the tempo on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. It was a tough matchup for us with their size and length.”

East Liverpool was outrebounded by Rocky River 37-21 on the night.

“Their starting five at every position was taller than ours,” Conley said. “We have to learn how to play against some size like that. Overall I am happy with how the weekend went and being a young team we are just continuing to get better.”

East Liverpool was led by Gabe Roach who had 11 points and Nick Woodyard with eight points.

Tre Jackson, who finished with 10 three-pointers a night ago, had one on Friday.

“We had to take him out of the game,” Murray said. “We wanted to limit his touches and pound the ball inside. If we had one advantage on them it was our size.”

This game snaps a four game streak of East Liverpool putting up high scoring efforts.

“You have lopsided wins like we’ve had you think things come easy,” Conley said. “You forget how we got there and how intense we were. Rocky River is a really well-coached team and this was a good early season matchup for us.”

Luke Coin finished with 14 points and Grant Eversman had 13 points for the Pirates.

“We took the transition away tonight and I am very proud of the kids,” Murray said. “The guys forced them into tough shots.”

East Liverpool’s Brennan O’Hara finished with four points, three steals and two assists.

“This is a team playing in the Cleveland area playing against Division I talent,” Conley said. “Their coach told us we played hard and made them work.T hat’s what we wanted to do. We still need to find a third or fourth scorer but overall I am happy where we are going in to the new year.”

East Liverpool will travel to Indian Creek on Tuesday. East Liverpool beat Indian Creek by four on Dec. 8.


¯The Potter Holiday Classic All Star team included Akron Manchester’s JoJo France, East Palestine’s Branden Kemp, Rocky River’s Oliver Clingain, Luke Coin and East Liverpool’s Tre Jackson as well as Gabe Roach.

¯In the consolation game Akron Manchester beat East Palestine 84-68.

ROCKY RIVER:20-15-16-10–61

EAST LIVERPOOL:9-13-6-12–40

ROCKY RIVER SCORING: Oliver Clingain 7-1-15, Griffin Jorgenson 1-0-2, Christian Dean 1-1-3, Connor O’Toole 0-0-0, Ryan O’Donnel 3-0-6, John Ruma 2-0-6, Luke Coin 7-0-14, Joey Coffman 0-0-0, Marco Freightner 0-0-0, Grant Eversman 5-0-13, Matt Popovich 1-0-2. TEAM TOTALS: 27, 2-7:61

EAST LIVERPOOL SCORING: Brennan O’Hara 2-0-4, Gabe Roach 4-2-11, Logan Torma 1-0-3, Levi George 0-0-0, Tre Jackson 2-1-6, Peyton Reed 1-1-4, Izaiha Browning 1-2-4, Nick Woodyard 3-2-8, Jalen Moman 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 14, 8-20:40

Three-point goals: Rock River 5 (Eversman 3, Ruma 3), East Liverpool 4 (Roach, Jackson, Reed, Torma)