POINT PLEASANT – Ravenswood stayed close with Point Pleasant on Saturday afternoon in a makeup high school basketball game.
Just not close enough.
The Big Blacks pulled away big time in the fourth quarter to post a 71-48 victory in the first of two showdowns between the schools in the span of four days.
"We were within striking distance," said Red Devil head coach Mick Price, who saw his team fall to 5-14 on the season.
Point Pleasant jumped to a 21-13 lead on its home court in the opening period. From there, Ravenswood managed to keep pace and trailed by just eight going into the final quarter.
A serious offensive drought by the Devils quickly put the game out of reach. Point Pleasant would outscore the Devils 23-8 in the quarter. All of Ravenswood's fourth quarter points came at the foul line as the Devils failed to make a field goal, going 0-of-11 in the last eight minutes of play.
"That really hurt," lamented Price of his team's lack of production from the floor in the final period. "That's where the spread of the game came from."
The Big Blacks moved to 11-9 with the victory. The win was Point Pleasant's ninth in its last 10 contests. Among that batch of wins was a victory over previously undefeated Greenbrier East.
"They are playing pretty well right now," said Price. "They are pretty good."
Dillon McCarty had 22 points and Wade Martin scored 15 for Point Pleasant.
Jake Martin led Ravenswood with 25 points, with 16 of those coming from the free throw line. Martin was an impressive 16-of-19 in the game from the stripe. Heath Burgess scored nine, Jon Crow had eight and Matt Peery finished with six.
Burgess had nine rebounds and five steals. Martin had six boards. Ravenswood turned the ball over 18 times in the game.
"We did a pretty good job, but they are much more talented than we are," said Price. Several of Point Pleasant's players have been a part of the Class AA portion of the State Tournament the past two seasons. The Big Black program is back up at the Class AAA level this season.
"They have a lot of people to take care of (from a defensive standpoint)," said Price. "Our kids kept fighting. We had to come out and force the issue (in the fourth quarter). The final score really isn't an indication of how close the game was."
Ravenswood won't have to wait long to get another crack at the Big Blacks. The two teams are set to meet tonight (Tuesday) on Mick Price Court inside the Old Gymnasium at Ravenswood High School.
It will be Ravenswood's next to last game of the regular season. The Devils will then host Ripley on Friday for a second time this season.
The schools are bonding that evening to support breast cancer awareness, according to Price.
The Devil head coach encourages fans to wear pink. The players from both teams will don special pink warmup shirts and shoe strings. Literature will also be passed out.
"We've had a lot of people in our area and the Ripley area suffer from breast cancer," said Price. "We just want to make people aware."