While the season didn’t end the way the Ravenswood Runnin’ Red Devils had hoped, it did, in fact, conclude where they wanted to be.

 While the season didn’t end the way the Ravenswood Runnin’ Red Devils had hoped, it did, in fact, conclude where they wanted to be.

  On the season of 2017-18’s final day, Ravenswood was one of six teams still standing and playing for a state championship.

  For a second straight year, the Devils reached the Championship  Saturday  at the West Virginia High School Boys State Basketball Tournament.

  But it was Wheeling Central claiming the title trophy.

 The Maroon Knights knocked off Ravenswood by a final of 54-40.

The loss was just the second of the season for Ravenswood.

 The Devils started the tournament last Thursday afternoon by taking care of Webster County, 86-40.

  Ravenswood followed that up with a  Friday  morning semifinal victory over Tug Valley, 64-48.The win avenged Ravenswood’s lone regular season loss.

 Central, meanwhile, defeated Tyler Consolidated, 71-52, in its  Thursday  quarterfinal round game and Trinity Christian, 61-45, in the  Friday  semifinal.

The win over Ravenswood finished Central at 25-2 for the season. The Devils ended with a splendid 26-2 mark.

  After the loss to Central, Ravenswood players were disappointed but also realized the destination they had reached and what an accomplishment it was.

 “You always dream about going to the state championship and winning it all, but it didn’t turn out like we wanted,” said Blake Bennett, one of seven seniors on the Devil squad.

“You’ve got to give all the credit to Wheeling Central, they’re a great team. You can’t take anything away from them. We didn’t hit any shots. They played good defense. Sometimes it just happens.

 Bennett said he will always cherish playing with his closest friends, for his grandfather (head coach Mick Price) and uncle (assistant Bryan Canterbury) along with assistants Don Brown and Andy Wise.”

 “It’s been great having family around.”

 Fellow senior Isaiah Morgan stated, ““They hit shots and we didn’t. And that’s just basketball.

  “It’s just been a blessing to play with them (teammates) and for them (coaches). This has been the best four years of my life. I wouldn’t change a thing.”

  Price, Ravenswood’s head coach of 40 seasons, said after the game, “I told the kids when you’ve been around for 40 years, you learn to appreciate it a lot more. First thing I thought about today was hos close this group and I have been since they were in fourth grade. They’re such good kids and I want the best for them.

 “We missed a lot of shots we normally make. I know they wanted to win a state championship. I know they played their guts out.”

 Ravenswood had three players – Morgan, Jayden Rhodes and Stephen Dawson – selected to the All-Tournament team. Ravenswood High also won the Spirit Award.


Ravenswood 86-

Webster County 40

 The Devils jumped to an early 19-9 lead in the first quarter and never looked back in eliminating Webster County for a second time in State Tournament play (2009). Webster was in the event for the first time since 2012.

  Morgan and Rhodes each scored 22 in the victory. Bennett and Dawson both had 11.

  Bennett rifled in a trio of 3-pointers. Ravenswood finished with six.

 Alex Easthom scored nine off the bench for Ravenswood. Trey Mandrake scored six late in the game. Lakin Tucker and Devin Raines each scored two while Zach Burgess hit a free throw.

Ravenswood was 35-of-62 from the field and 10-of-17 at the free throw line.

  Dawson had nine rebounds and Tucker finished with eight.

  Bennett dished out seven assists while Rhodes and   Morgan had out five each.

 Benett had four steals and Dawson blocked three shots.

 Cole Taylor scored 15 to lead Webster with Garrett Hamrick adding 10.


Ravenswood 64-

Tug Valley 48

 Morgan erupted for 31 in the rematch, including a masterful 15-of-15 performance at the free throw line, with the Panthers from Mingo County.

  Tug Valley, a program with three state titles to its credit, had defeated the Devils by four back on  January 26  in Logan.

 The game was tight through the first three quarters with Ravenswood leading 13-11 at the end of one, 25-24 at halftime and 42-39 after three. In the fourth, the Devils outscored the Panthers, 22-9, to secure the victory and move into the championship game.

 Dawson finished the game with 18 and Rhodes hit for double figures with 12. Bennett buried another 3-pointer to round out the scoring.

  Ravenswood was 21-of-41 from the field and 17-of-18 at the stripe. The Devils made 5-of-15 attempts from the 3-point arc.

  Dawson and Rhodes had six rebounds each. Bennett handed out six assists and came up with the team’s lone steal.

  Jon Blankenship and Tyler May each had 12 for Tug Valley.


Wheeling Central 54-Ravenswood 40

 Central built a 13-8 lead after the first quarter and Ravenswood was waged in an uphill battle the rest of 

the game.

 The Maroon Knights would outscore Ravenswood in the final three quarters as well in winning the title.

  Morgan scored 17 for the Devils with Rhodes hitting for 15. Dawson had six and Bennett two.

  Dawson had six rebounds. Ravenswood had five players come up with a steal.

 Owen Gainer scored 18, Brent Price delivered 16 and Bray Price scored 12 to pace Central offensively.