By Colin Harris | Staff Writer
Apparently, Tate Bennett's buzzer-beaters are not limited to football.
The quarterback whose bouquet touchdown pass to beat Field landed him on ESPN's SportsCenter answered the call once again Friday night, sinking a 3-pointer at the buzzer to lead Ravenna to a 77-74 road victory over Springfield.
"I was just trying to get down the court and get to the corner as fast as I could so that I could get the ball," Bennett said. "I (feel most comfortable) in the corner because I don't have to look at the backboard when I'm shooting.
"I'm just a confident kid," Bennett said of his mind-set in trying to get open and get off his game-winning shot.
Ravenna (7-5, 4-3 PTC Metro) surrendered a six-point lead with one minute left in regulation as the home Spartans crawled back into the game behind four straight points from guard Jake Kitchen and forward Victor Dorsey.
The Ravens answered after Dorsey's bucket cut the Ravenna lead to 72-71 when they were able to beat the Springfield (7-4, 4-3 PTC Metro) trap and work the ball to an open Josiah Coman, who sunk a layup to put his team back up by three points.
After a timeout with 14 seconds left, Springfield inbounded the ball and eventually found Logan Treen, who tied the game at 74-74 with a 3-pointer.
Without any timeouts, Ravenna inbounded the ball and quickly worked down the court before Bennett found himself in the right corner near the baseline. The senior guard fielded the pass and got off a perfect shot as time expired that split the net and secured the win.
Ravenna head coach Phil Starks said that, while the ball wasn't necessarily intended to go to Bennett, he was the perfect player to take that kind of shot.
"We had all of our shooters out on the court at that moment," Starks said. "But Tate is the kind of guy who thrives off of taking those big shots, whether it's in football or tonight in basketball. Tate is a really competitive player who wants to have the ball in his hands."
Game-winning heroics aside, Bennett had one of his best games of the season with a team-high 15 points -- including four 3-pointers.
Four players finished in double-figures for Ravenna, including senior forward Jermaine Justice (11 points), who missed the entire fourth quarter after picking up two fouls -- including an intentional foul -- on a heated play near the end of the third quarter.
Starks said that playing without his team's best player in a hostile environment was a learning experience for the rest of the squad.
"I think tonight was a total team win because of the way we played (without Justice)," Starks said. "We keep talking to them about (team play), and I really think they're starting to buy into it and just trust each other out there."
Bennett said there was no other option than to come out strong in the fourth quarter.
"We talked in the huddle about (Justice fouling out), and we say we play as one," Bennett said. "When one of our teammates goes down, we pick them up and go out and (win) for them."
Josiah Coman finished with 12 points for Ravenna and was joined in double-figures by teammates Danny Miller (11 points) and Jasean Kelly (11). Miller knocked down two 3-pointers, joining teammate Tyler Conley with a pair of 3-pointers as a part of Ravenna's 10 triples.
Dorsey led all scorers on the evening with 22 points. The Springfield forward was joined by Colin Floyd (18 points) and Kitchen (13) in double-figures.