By Colin Harris | Staff writer
The Ravenna Ravens frustrated Field on Wednesday in much the same way it did when the two teams met the first time this season, sweeping the series with a 54-30 Portage Trail Conference Metro Division victory.
Back on Jan. 5 in Brimfield, the Falcons dropped a near identical 54-33 game to the Ravens, with Ravenna's athleticism and size proving to be the ultimate game-changers.
The same was true Wednesday, although maybe not quite in the same way, according to Field head coach Craig Nettleton.
"I was dissapointed with the way we executed in our halfcourt offense," Nettleton said. "I thought we handled their pressure until we got into the halfcourt and that's where they really gave us trouble."
Ravenna (14-6, 11-2 PTC Metro) broke open a 10-9 game in the second quarter with a 19-8 stretch. The Ravens forced nine turnovers in the period -- many of which came in the halfcourt set -- and directly converted those miscues into 10 points.
Ravenna guards Deja Sanders and Courtney Cross excelled in the second quarter, combining for 14 points.
Sanders finished with a team-high 11 points for Ravenna. The sophomore guard was the only player in double figures for the Ravens, but a total of 10 players scored in a well-rounded team effort.
Ravenna head coach Sonny Tilden said he was excited by the way his team played defense in the decisive second quarter.
"We really came out and turned up the pressure on Field on defense," Tilden said. "I thought they played great tonight, and we've really been playing well lately. I think this is the fourth or fifth game in a row we've held a team to 30 or fewer points."
The Ravens went with a big lineup for long stretches in the second half, playing forwards Nicole Simpson (6-foot), Taylor Geib (6-1) and Fallon Schwab-Davis (6-1) at the same time. The strategy worked as Ravenna outscored Field 9-6 and 16-8 in the third and fourth quarters, respectively.
The trio was responsible for a 22-15 rebounding edge for the Ravens, and Tilden's frontcourt turned many of those rebounds into downcourt passing opportunities over the final 16 minutes of play.
"We told our guards to be ready, beca use we wanted to get the rebound and throw the long pass," Tilden said of the numerous transition buckets created in the second half by long passes. "I think having three bigs like that on the court at the same time was just too much for (Field) to handle."
Nettleton said that the way his team was playing did little else but feed into Ravenna's high-energy play.
"When you're not executing the way you're supposed to, you're going to start missing easy looks," Nettleton said. "And when you're doing that against a good team like Ravenna, it's going to snowball. They were able to take those misses and turn them into rebounds and long passes that gave them easy buckets."
Field senior guard Morgan Peachey finished with 17 points to lead all scorers in the game. Peachey was the only Field (13-7, 8-5) player to score more than four points on the evening.
The lack of consistent production outside of the Falcons' senior standout was something Nettleton said has to be corrected with the tournament around the corner.
"We are still working on turning the production we get in practice into game situations," Nettleton said. "Our problem sometimes is we aren't getting good performances at the same time from two or three players."