But all that has suddenly changed. With starting

By Eric Clutter Record-Courier staff writer Published:

But all that has suddenly changed.

With starting point guard Marcus Sanders having recently quit the team, Fortson now becomes the man at the point for Ravenna coach Mike Cook.

Tuesday night at Streetsboro, Fortson got the start and played well, netting 14 points leading the Ravens past the Rockets 57-42 in a non-league game.

The 6-foot Fortson scored 10 of his points in the first half as Ravenna built a 28-17 halftime lead.

Fortson was also a presence defensively, his quickness enabling him to steal the ball at least a half-dozen times.

"For a sophomore he's really stepping up," said Cook. "He's shooting the ball better and I really think Damien's going to be a nice player for us down the road."

Fortson was only part of the story of Tuesday's game. The other part was the Ravens' complete domination on the glass to the tune of 54-12. It got to the point where Ravenna players were battling each other for missed shots, rather than the shorter Rockets who had no starter taller than 6-1.

"We're not a big team, but you don't have to be big to rebound," said Streetsboro rookie coach Bruce Thomas. "You just have to have fundamentals and technique. And we work on rebounding every day and we know we're not big. But we still have to box out and use good technique and fundamentals.

"We didn't get it done. Ravenna crashed the boards hard and did a nice job and coach Cook did a nice job of getting his kids ready to play."

Ravenna (2-2) jumped out to an early 10-point lead and led 16-8 after the first quarter.

"We just wanted to pressure them, trap their guards and play solid defense," said Cook of his team's objectives.

With Lee Daniels scoring six of his 13 points in the second quarter, the Ravens expanded their advantage to as many as 12 points on two occasions before settling for an 11-point edge after 16 minutes.

"Our kids weren't ready to play and that was my fault," said Thomas. "We had them scouted well ... but for some reason we were not ready to play. The first quarter we were just flat, we didn't get anything right."

Streetsboro (0-2) fell further behind in the third stanza as Derrick McCullough threw in seven points to increase the Ravens' lead to 40-22 in the final stages of the quarter.

But the Rockets suddenly got hot from the outside, and with Sean Nehlsen going on a personal 8-0 run, drew within 40-30 with 6:45 left in the contest.

Ravenna then scored the next six points only to see Streetsboro counter with five straight, closing the gap to 46-35 with 3:40 to go.

Streetsboro eventually sliced the lead to 48-40, but Ravenna' Luke Summers answered with a 3-pointer to keep the Rockets at bay.

Derrick McCullough finished with nine points, while Roy McCullough and Chuck Proctor added eight apiece.

John Sabol paced the Rockets with 14 points. Nehlsen totaled 10 and Chad Rice added eight markers.

_____

Ravenna 57, Streetsboro 42

(At Streetsboro)

RAVENNA (57) _ Damien Fortson 7 0-0 14; Buddy Jones 0 0-0 0; Derrick McCullough 4 0-1 9; Luke Summers 1 0-0 3; Roy McCullough 2 4-5 8; Eric Stefansic 0 0-0 0; Lee Daniels 4 5-6 13; Mark Salem 0 2-2 2; Chuck Proctor 3 2-4 8; Ty Parshall 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 13-18 57.

STREETSBORO (42) _ Sean Nehlsen 4 0-2 10; Jeremy Ogden 0 0-0 0; Jim Docherty 3 0-0 6; Rico Zeppetella 0 0-0 0; John Sabol 6 2-3 14; Matt Miller 1 1-2 4; Chad Rice 3 1-3 8; John Brunnett 0 0-0 0; Jason Whitelock 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 4-10 42.

RAVENNA 16 12 12 17 _ 57

STREETSBORO 8 9 8 17 _ 42

Three-point goals _ Ravenna (2): D. McCullough 1, Summers 1; Streetsboro (4): Nehlsen 2, Miller 1, Rice 1.

Total Rebounds _ Ravenna, 54-12.

Total Fouls _ Streetsboro, 18-17.

JV Score _ Streetsboro, 49-47. Top scorers: (R) James O'Neil, 15 points; (S) Jason Polak, 18 points.

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