By Matt Lofgren | Correspondent
Ravenna's uptempo defense disrupted Crestwood's offense Friday night in Ravenna as the Ravens claimed a big 82-53 win over the Red Devils.
With three players putting up double-digit points totals, led by senior Jermaine Justice with 21 points off the bench, the Ravenna offense was firing on all cylinders with contributions from almost everyone who stepped on the court.
"It was a great team effort; we really shared the ball," Ravens coach Phil Starks said. "Watching the game, I can't even tell you who was high scorer because a lot of guys scored, which is nice, that's what you want. That's probably our first full game we've played this season for four quarters."
Starks busted out the full-court defense midway through the first quarter on Crestwood and immediately got results. The Red Devils had just three turnovers before Ravenna switched to full-court pressure.
After the change, Crestwood coughed up the ball another 27 times.
"We're a team that's looking the change the tempo a bit to our favor," Starks said. "We want to get teams to do things that they're not comfortable doing and we did a great job. We shut out a lot of passing lanes and got our hands in the passing lanes, which was the difference."
For most of the game, Justice was the man converting on both ends by snatching rebounds out of the air and quickly moving the ball upcourt for points. Crediting the win to a good couple of days of practice, Justice said Friday night was the best the Ravens have looked all season long.
"(The team effort), I credit that to the team at practice," Justice said. "We practiced hard and went over our defensive plays and it pays off on game day."
Capitalizing big on turnover opportunities, the Ravens' offense turned Crestwood's 30 turnovers into 34 points. Almost all of those buckets came from Ravenna's deadly transition game.
In moving the ball up the court quickly and efficiently, several Ravens made a quick pass in transition to get a better shot. Starks said he was ecstatic to see his players making the extra effort to produce points.
"We always tell our kids to look for the extra pass," Starks said. "We've been working on our transition offense and making that extra pass. We were in a bad habit of putting our head down and dribbling as opposed to getting the rebound, looking up and making that easy pass as opposed to dribbling because that ball's going to get there faster passing it than dribbling."
Aside from their transition game, the Ravens utilized the long ball early and often. Ravenna sank eight 3-pointers in the game of the 22 they put up.
"We have a lot of 3-point shooters," Starks said. "Overall, those kids can shoot it. I have confidence in them and we hit a few."
Ravenna seniors Josiah Coman and Tate Bennett were seen around the net all night long. Bennett scored 19 points while Coman added 10.