CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Riley Heatherington scored 30 points as Ravenswood avenged a regular season loss to St. Joseph Central, pounding the Irish 62-41 in Wednesday’s Class A boys basketball quarterfinals.
“We really did a good job defensively today and we’ve been a better defensive team as the year has gone on,” said Ravenswood coach Mick Price. “Guys trust in each other and believe in each other. I thought our execution offensively was really good. I knew we needed to be really good today – first games are tough.”
The No. 2 Red Devils (23-2) shot 73 percent from the floor, hitting 27 of 37 field goal attempts.
“I think two years ago we shot 17 percent (at the state tournament) and last year improved on that and shot 18 percent,” Price said. “Sometimes we have a tendency to jack the ball up in bad situations. We needed to be in the attack mode.
“We have good shooters, just sometimes they don’t make good decisions with it,” Price said. “If you come down to the state tournament, on the first night you can eliminate yourself by taking poor shot selection. Our shot selection was good, that’s why our percentage was pretty good. I was pleased with the way our kids handled that and executed it.”
Heatherington went 13 of 14 from the floor and grabbed seven rebounds.
“All of my teammates kept feeding me the ball and they just made it happen for me,” Heatherington said. “We were more confident going into (this year’s quarterfinal), being the No. 2 seed. We were prepping in practice all about defense and that’s really what makes a difference in these tournament games.”
The Red Devils limited St. Joe (17-10) to a season-low 41 points and held Deaundra Murphy to less than half of his per-game average. Murphy came into the tournament putting up 27.5 points per game and finished with 13 points on Wednesday.
“The first matchup they backed off (from me) a little bit,” Murphy said. “(This time) they practiced what I could do and had guys to drive me crazy. They played really good defense and hats off to them.”
St. Joe was limited to 38 percent shooting on the day, hitting 16 of 42 shots.
Ravenswood scored 44 of its 62 points inside the paint as Stephen Dawson added a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds.
“With myself and Riley (Heatherington) being 6-foot-5 and 6-foot-7, we had a little advantage,” Dawson said. “People kept feeding us the ball and Riley and I worked really well down there together. We just took over.”
Isaiah Morgan also scored 10 points for the Red Devils in the win.
Ravenswood outscored St. Joe 18-12 in each of the first three quarters to take a 54-36 lead in to the fourth.
The Red Devils are in their 14th state tournament in school history, looking for their first title since 2009.
Ravenswood will face No. 6 Madonna in Friday’s semifinals at 9:30 a.m.