Riders top Ravens amid controversial call in closing seconds

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By Colin Harris | Staff Writer

Both Kent Roosevelt and Ravenna were in the giving mood on a snowy Friday evening, but it was an official's call that helped decide a 73-72 Rough Riders victory.

With 6.7 seconds remaining in regulation, Ravenna senior Tate Bennett knocked down a pair of foul shots to tie the game at 72-72.

Roosevelt (3-2 overall, 3-1 PTC Metro) was out of timeouts, so the Rough Riders inbounded the ball to senior guard Corey Mitchell, who crossed mid-court and began to streak toward the sideline before firing up a harmless shot as time expired.

Instead of the game heading into overtime, however, officials gave Ravenna (3-4, 1-3) a technical foul in the attempt to stop Mitchell from getting off his shot.

With the gym nearly shaking, Mitchell stepped to the line and missed his first foul shot attempt before sinking the second to give his team the lead. As Roosevelt was given possession because of the technical, Ravenna would not have another chance to get a shot off.

"I was surprised that (Ravenna) would try to foul me, but I was wrapped up," Mitchell said of the game-deciding call. "As for the foul shots, I wish the first one would have gone in, but I was happy to get the second."

Roosevelt head coach Ben Dunlap said that, while the circumstances that decided the game were unusual, his players executed a familiar strategy.

"We practice these kinds of situations, because I don't want the first time our kids get in an inbound situation like that to be in a game," Dunlap said. "As a coach, I felt hopeless because I had no timeouts and they were all the way on the other side of the court."

Ravenna head coach Phil Starks was stunned at the game's outcome, but said that his team will have to push forward with much of the season remaining.

"I'm just at a loss for words right now," Starks said. "That was the longest six seconds I've ever seen.

"I just wish that the game could have been decided by the players on the court," Starks added, referring to the game's defining call.

Friday's game took nearly three hours to be played because neither team played their most efficient game of the season.

Between both squads, 46 fouls were called by officials -- 24 on Ravenna and 22 on Roosevelt. When the teams were able to avoid the whistle, they seemed to struggle holding onto the ball with 58 total turnovers -- 31 for Roosevelt and 27 for Ravenna.

Dunlap said he was disappointed by how his team operated, but as a long-time Roosevelt assistant and former player, he knows the magnitude of the rivalry.

"This was an ugly game, but in a rivalry like this, you sometimes have to throw things out," Dunlap said. "Ravenna plays extremely hard, and I think that some of the turnovers came from us matching their intensity.

"But a win is a win, and we're really happy to get this one," Dunlap added.

Mitchell finished with 18 points on the evening for Roosevelt and shared the team-high with PJ Grant.

Ravenna senior forward Jermaine Justice led all scorers with 24 points. Justice was joined in double figures by Danny Miller (11 points) and Bennett, who finished with 17 points -- including three 3-pointers.

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Email: charris@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9447

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