Ripley sweeps season series with Ravenswood

RAVENSWOOD-It’s not very often that you can draw comparisons between a college football team and a high school boys basketball team. But, that is the case in Ravenswood these days as the Red Devils’ offense, like that of WVU’s football team, continued its season-long struggles in dropping a 50-33 decision to Jackson County rival Ripley on Senior Night.

“It’s no secret,” Ravenswood head coach Mick Price said. “We have struggled offensively all season.”

Those struggles continued in the final game of the regular season for both squads as Ravenswood connected just 15 of 44 opportunities (34 percent) in dropping to 13-9 on the season. Ripley, which opens sectional play at Riverside on Monday, made good on 18 of 34 shots (53 percent).

“We did some pretty good things on defense,” continued Price. “But, we just left so many opportunities out there on the offensive side that could have made this an entirely different ballgame.”

Ravenswood (13-9), which plays host to Webster County at 7 p.m. on Wednesday in its sectional opener, received a game-high 19 points from senior Jake Martin and 10 points and a game-high 18 rebounds from junior Isaac Crow. But, only one other player tallied points for the Little Kanawha Conference member-freshman Riley Heatherington (9)-while the Vikings placed four players in double-digits led by freshman Jamison Hunt’s 15.

“We talked to the kids before the game about the fact that we should win,” interim head coach Steve Hunt said. “We are the bigger school. But, in this environment anything can happen and usually does.”

Not on Friday, however, as a Kade Harrison steal and layin spotted the visitors the lead for good, 2-0, with 7:04 remaining in the first quarter. The margin grew to six, 8-2, on a layup by Justin McKown off of a Drew Harpold pass with two and one half minutes left in the quarter.

Ravenswood sliced the margin to four, 14-10, on a rebound bucket by Martin and six straight points from Heathington to close out the quarter. But, that would be as close as the hosts would get until another putback by Martin pulled the red and black to within two, 17-15 with four minutes left in the half.

Ripley’s Hunt put a stop to that run, however, with a 2-for-3 showing at the free throw line and a Luke Layhew layup to go up by nine, 24-15. Ravenswood’s Crow would close out the first half scoring by going 2-for-4 at the charity stripe.

The Red Devils would continue to chip away at Ripley’s lead, pulling to within one, 26-25, on a Martin triple at the 5:33 mark of the third quarter. But, the Vikings would answer with a Layhew duece that would ignite a 9-0 run by the guests to give them a 35-25 advantage with 2:12 showing on the clock.

Ravenswood would again slice into the deficit with a rebound bucket by Crow and back-to-back dueces by Martin to cut the margin to four, 35-31, with eight minutes remaining to be played.

But, it was an eight minutes dominated by the Vikings’ defense.