It was Valentine’s Day  on Wednesday  in Ravenswood.
But forget the candy. Forget the flowers. Forget the fancy dinner. Forget the jewelry.
For there was basketball to be played inside the Old Gymnasium between two schools – Ravenswood and Clarksburg Notre Dame – who are forming a nice rivalry in West Virginia high school basketball.

It was Valentine’s Day  on Wednesday  in Ravenswood.

But forget the candy. Forget the flowers. Forget the fancy dinner. Forget the jewelry.

For there was basketball to be played inside the Old Gymnasium between two schools – Ravenswood and Clarksburg Notre Dame – who are forming a nice rivalry in West Virginia high school basketball.

Both programs are rock solid with each featuring outstanding coaching staffs led by one-time Mountaineer star Jarrod West (Notre Dame) and the young-as-you-feel 40-year plus veteran Mick Price (Ravenswood).

Last March, the two squared off for the Class A state title with Notre Dame emerging victorious.

They played a game back in December with Ravenswood winning on the road.

There was close to a packed house  Wednesday  evening in Ravenswood’s historic venue as the Devils entered No. 1 in the latest Associated Press Class A poll with Notre Dame at No. 3.

So on Valentine’s Day 2018 what wasn’t there to love about this matchup?

Ravenswood started strong and finished with a flourish to prevail by a final of 74-55.

But in between, the Irish made things interesting.    

“It was one of those games, it just went back and forth,” Price said after the win. “It was a knockdown, drag out game.”

Ravenswood came out firing as senior Blake Bennett gunned in back-to-back 3-pointers. The Devils hot-shooting continued throughout the opening eight minutes with Stephen Dawson, Jayden Rhodes and Isaiah Morgan also hitting shots from behind the arc.

When the horn sounded at the end of the first, Ravenswood had surged to a commanding 28-7 lead.

The Irish, though, slowly started to claw back in the game and by the third quarter had gotten within two at 44-42.

“You knew they would (make a comeback),” Price said.

Fortunately, Ravenswood pulled away in the final quarter to nail down its 19th  win against just one loss on the season.

Notre Dame’s lone lead of the game came on its opening possession on a basket by Todd Griffith before Bennett’s first 3 gave Ravenswood an advantage it would never relinquish.

Rhodes was Ravenswood’s top scorer with 22. Dawson added 21.

Morgan and Bennett also hit for double figures with 14 and 13, respectively.

Dawson had a whopping five 3s in the game. Bennett finished with three. Rhodes and Morgan each had two.

Chase Swain rounded out Ravenswood’s scoring with four points.

Ravenswood was 27-of-53 from the field.

Griffith paced Coach West’s team with 16.

Rhodes had seven rebounds, Bennett dished out 10 assists and also had four steals. Swain came up with three steals in the win.

Ravenswood’s junior varsity downed the Irish, 52-36.

Trey Mandrake had a night to remember with 27 points. Devin Raines and Patrick Francis finished with nine points each. Nick Westenhaver scored four in the win. Zach Burgess added two and Case Fletcher chipped in one.

Ravenswood plays in the title game of the Little Kanawha Conference Night of Champions event at Glenville’s Waco Center  Saturday  evening. The Devils will square off with Braxton County.