By Colin Harris | Staff Writer
A slow start doomed the Field Falcons on Saturday afternoon as Ravenna cruised to a 54-33 victory in a PTC Metro Division girls basketball contest.
Field was outscored 13-6 in the first quarter and 16-8 in the second as the Ravens built a 29-14 halftime advantage.
"We really wanted to come out and put a lot of pressure on (Field)," Ravenna head coach Sonny Tilden said. "We knew we were going to need to put together a good first (half) and that's what we told the girls before the game."
Ravenna (7-5, 5-1 PTC Metro) did just that as its pressure and trapping style was too much for a young Field squad to contend with.
Field (8-3, 4-2) committed 13 first-half turnovers as players like guards Moe Moe Smith, Jalynn Starks and Deja Sanders harassed Falcons ball handlers and converted mistakes into transition buckets.
"I was really happy with the way Moe Moe played in particular," Tilden said of Smith, who finished with just four points, but prevented a number of Field offensive opportunities with her quick steals and spot-on passing. "Her play on defense and her passing were real catalysts for us in the first half."
For as good as Ravenna's defense performed on the afternoon, the play of its forwards was an equal match as the Ravens out-rebounded Field, 37-17.
Freshman forward Taylor Geib finished with a game-high nine rebounds -- including four offensive boards. Of Ravenna's 37 rebounds, 14 came on the offensive end as second and third-chances were afforded to Ravens shooters.
"We really crashed the boards well today and that's another thing we stressed to the girls," Tilden said. "We were giving ourselves second and third chances at the basket because of the way the girls played."
Any hope Field had of clawing back into the game during the second half was dashed by a 20-7 third quarter that extended Ravenna's lead to a commanding 49-21 advantage.
Starks, Whitney Jones and Fallon Schwab-Davis each scored four points during the third quarter and helped build a lead that allowed Tilden to rotate in reserves for the final eight minutes of play.
Despite being under the weather, Davis finished with six points to go along with five rebounds in a gritty performance by the Ravens forward.
"If you could have seen Fallon, she was laid up in the locker room, sick as a dog," Tilden said. "I told her she wasn't playing, but she demanded to go out there and still play. Once that adrenalin got going, she did a really great job for us."
No player finished in double figures for Ravenna, but 10 players contributed in the winning effort -- led by nine points from Jones and Starks. Both players also finished with three rebounds.
After the game, Field head coach Craig Nettleton said he was understandably disappointed by his team's performance at home.
"We did not come out and play with the kind of intensity and toughness that we need to beat a team like Ravenna," Nettleton said. "When you're not playing well early and making mistakes, it can really snowball against a team like Ravenna and they'll become really hard to handle."
Tiffany Spaller finished with a game-high 11 points to pace the Falcons, while teammate Allie Staats finished with eight points.