Ravenna hands Woodridge cagers loss

By Colin Harris | Staff Writer Published:

With their Metro Division boys basketball season opener against powerhouse Norton looming, Ravenna needed some positive momentum.

The Ravens (1-1) got just that Dec. 4 as nine players scored in a 55-47 home victory over defending County Division champion Woodridge.

"We don't have that one player who is going to just carry us all season, so this is how we're going to have to win," Ravenna coach Phil Starks said. "We have a bunch of unselfish kids who aren't afraid to distribute the ball to their teammates."

With headline player senior Jermaine Justice limited to just four points and 10 rebounds, the Ravens were led by guard Tyler Bayless's 12 points. Ravenna also received strong performances from Danny Miller (nine points, one 3-pointer) and Tate Bennett (eight points, three rebounds).

Ravenna's offensive distribution was put on display during the first quarter as six different players scored the Ravens' first 11 points.

All offensive distribution praise aside, the second quarter was where Ravenna did its damage on the scoreboard with a 17-9 quarter that gave the Ravens a 32-22 halftime lead. Bayless scored six points and Miller contributed four as the Ravens built a comfortable lead - one that would be tested during the third quarter.

Seven third quarter Ravenna turnovers let Woodridge (0-2) crawl back into the game as the Bulldogs turned them directly into six points and a 10-6 quarter that cut Ravenna's lead to 38-32 headed into the final quarter.

Ravenna had a tougher evening than was necessary as 29 turnovers limited what could have been a comfortable home victory.

Ravenna recovered in the final quarter and got back to running the court and distributing the ball as six different players scored in the final frame during a 19-15 run that allowed the Ravens to coast to their first win of the season.

Despite returning eight seniors off of last year's co-championship team, Woodridge did not function like a cohesive unit against the Ravens.

The Bulldogs committed 21 turnovers and were out-rebounded 39-to-26 while shooting just 34 percent from the field. Woodridge was unable to operate in the paint, receiving just four points out of its post players.

Following the game, Bulldogs head coach Brian Fantone said he was frustrated by his team's performance.

"We just had a horrible night inside - it was a true comedy of errors for us," Fantone said. "We just couldn't score in the post at all and we played a lot of the game with (Justice) on the bench for Ravenna.

"We've got to get back to doing the little things better because we don't look anything like we were last year and most of that team is back this season."

Three guards finished in double figures for Woodridge, led by 15 points from Chico Coleman. Anthony Mong finished with 12 points and Nelson Perry added 11 in the losing effort.

E-mail:charris@recordpub.com

Phone:330-541-9442

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