Ravens' win comes after team turns it up a notch

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By Sara Welch | Correspondent

A second-half surge sent the Ravenna Ravens soaring past the Field Falcons on Friday on the Ravens' hardwood, securing a 75-56 victory for the Ravens in a Portage Trail Conference Metro Division matchup.

Ravenna clenched a five-point lead by the end of the first quarter, however, trailed Field 28-27 at halftime.

"We had good looks that weren't falling," Ravenna head coach Phil Starks said. "I think that was the difference. That kept them in the ball game early on. We made up for it by switching our defenses up in the second half, which I think threw them off guard a little bit."

The Ravens realized that sharing the ball, increasing their defensive pressure and getting easy baskets in transition would be the key to winning the game in the second half.

"We were trying to up the tempo. That works to our advantage. Our kids like that faced paced game," Starks said. "They like to get in passing lanes, create a little bit of havoc and try to put the pressure on the opposing teams. It worked for us tonight."

As a team, Ravenna compiled 15 steals and forced Field to turn the ball over 25 times.

The Ravens weren't able to pull away from the Falcons until Jermaine Justice spurred a 14-2 scoring run, accounting for the first eight points of the run.

"We're our best when we share the ball. Our big man (Jermaine Justice) shared the ball a lot with our guards."

"We were able to get the ball to our shooters in the second half. He had a lot of good looks and when we go inside-outside it really works to our advantage," Starks said.

"He made a huge difference for us. He passed the ball well tonight. You don't expect a big man to see the court the way he does, but he does a good job of getting his teammates involved."

Justice led the Ravens with 23 points and nine rebounds. Tate Bennett managed 14 points and five rebounds.

"I think he (Bennett) was 4-of-5 from the 3-point line. He shot the ball well. He threw Jermaine a nice alley-oop. I don't think he could have thrown that pass any better. He sees the court well," Starks said.

Ravenna racked up a gaudy 48 points in the second half of the game, just eight points shy of Field's total in twice as many quarters, with 10 players contributing.

"When we're unselfish like that and looking for our teammates it's a good thing. They feed off of that. I think other players look to make that extra pass when they see their teammates willing to give the ball up as well. That's how we win games," Starks said.

The Falcons were led by Macklin Coleman with 17 points and Joe Simpson with 12 points.

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