RAVENSWOOD, W.Va. — There is a board outside of Ravenswood’s locker room with a list of goals. Of the nine items written on it before Saturday’s game against St. Marys, one was to have at least 18 assists.
The Red Devils then put together a total team performance, assisting 21 times on 28 made field goals in their regular season finale during a 72-46 win over Little Kanawha Conference foe St. Marys on senior day.
“Today’s performance shows that we are unselfish and trying to get the ball to the right guy,” said veteran Ravenswood head coach Mick Price. “We did a lot of penetrating and pitching today, and many of the pitches were to open guys that our team found. We have done that throughout the season, and it has been our forte. The kids played unselfishly today, which led to our success.”
Six seniors for Ravenswood (17-5) were honored during pregame, including starting guards Matthew Carte and Andrew Hunt.
“Each of them has known their roles,” Price stated. “I only have two seniors that start, so the other guys had to accept their role. Sometimes seniors look down upon their role if they are not starting. These guys have accepted that their job is to come in and keep the flow in our favor. These guys have done a great job for the whole team at coming in every day, putting their best efforts forward, and making the team better by what they do.”
Carte, a 6-foot-2 guard led all scorers with 18 points and added nine rebounds, and eight assists.
“What doesn’t he do on the court,” Price said. “He is one of the more complete players we have had here. He has great eyes. He would have had more assists if we had caught the ball. He can do different things like going into the post, beating you at the mid-range and three, and he is a good defensive player. He loves and is passionate about the game, and Matthew is a gym rat. He is always here, 365 days a year, working on his game and now seeing the rewards.”
St. Marys (15-7) started the game with six straight points, including four coming from forward Luke Powell. However, the Red Devils finished the opening quarter on an 8-0 run, including a buzzer-beating follow-up by Noah Dawson, who scored 16 points.
RHS led 13-10 entering the second quarter.
“We did not panic in those closing minutes,” Price noted. “We missed the same shots against Ripley on Tuesday that we made today. I have encouraged our kids to keep shooting their shots. Once one goes through the net, we are in a flow offensively.”
Ravenswood scored 10 of the first 12 points in the second quarter, capped with a Beau Bennett basket with 4:11 remaining. Bennett finished with 17 points and five three-pointers.
“He is playing with more confidence,” Price said. “When you are a shooter, you do not make them all. You have to tell yourself that the next shot will go through. I thought today, despite Beau not shooting it well against Ripley, he had the same shots, and they went through. It also upped his confidence, which helped us defensively. I thought he had a great two-way game.”
The Blue Devils got to within 11 on a conventional three-point play from sophomore Ryan Kent with 2:56 remaining in the half, and Ravenswood went to the break leading 34-23.
In the third quarter, back-to-back threes from Bennett and Hunt within 46 seconds stretched the Red Devils’ lead to 44-27.
“We seemed focused after halftime,” Price said. “We stayed the course and kept going. If someone missed a shot, nobody said a word or got down. Basketball is a team game, and we can shoot the ball. I want our guys to play confidently and not worry about missing.”
Powell would try and get his team back into the game with back-to-back buckets with under 1:45 left in the third. However, Ravenswood went into the final frame ahead by 19, 53-34.
The Red Devils scored 13 of the first 19 points in the final quarter, including a conventional three-point play from Hunt with 3:46 remaining. He finished with 11 points, including two triples.
Powell led the Blue Devils in scoring with 13 points, including seven in the second half. Kent finished with 11 points.
Ravenswood finished shooting 57 percent overall and made 12-of-25 threes.