It isn’t just a new season for the Runnin’ Red Devil basketball program.
It is one with plenty of new faces on the varsity level.
Friday night a new starting five got its first true taste of action under the bright lights. In the end, they persevered with a hard-fought 41-38 victory over Ritchie County on the Mick Price Court inside the Old Gymnasium.
“Our kids played hard the whole night, and I was really pleased with the way they played defense,” veteran head coach Mick Price said following the victory.
The Devils won the game despite scoring just 13 points in the second half.
“For all of these kids, this was their first taste with a varsity start. It was there first time to play a game with plenty on the line,” Price said. “I was proud of them.”
Ravenswood lost a group of seven seniors from last season’s squad that played for the Class A state championship. Those players were also part of a state runner-up team in 2017.
Trey Mandrake led Ravenswood in scoring with 10 points. He also had three rebounds, three steals and two assists.
Devin Raines chipped in eight points while yanking down a team-high seven rebounds and handing out four assists.
Nick Westenhaver had seven points, six boards and four steals.
Ravenswood jumped to a 16-10 lead and owned a 28-19 advantage at halftime. The Devils and Rebels were even at 7-7 in the third before Ritchie outscored Ravenswood in the fourth, 12-6.
“Ritchie had played a game and have some starters back from last year,” Price said. “So they gave us a good test right out of the gate.”
Joey James scored a game-high 12 points for the Rebels with Clayton Bee adding 11. Adam Davis finished with five, Billy Butcher added four while Michael Simmons, Graydon McKinney and Gabe Murphy all scored two.
Rounding out Ravenswood’s scoring were Zach Burgess with eight, Jaxon Harris with six and Patrick Francis with two. Francis also had six rebounds in the win.
Ravenswood made 5-of-9 shots from 3-point range. Harris and Burgess knocked down two each and Raines had one. Ritchie was 3-of-7 from the arc.
The Devils were 8-of-13 at the line while Ritchie made 7-of-8.
The two teams were even in rebounds with 28 and turnovers with 11.
Ritchie won the junior varsity game by a final of 50-42.
Colton Goodwin was Ravenswood’s leading scorer with 12. Ashton Miller finished with nine. Case Fletcher had six.
Seth Marra and Devin Fields each scored five while Ben Queen and Cameron Taylor each had two. Caleb Lawrence finished with one.
Ravenswood heads to Roane County tonight (Tuesday) to meet the Raiders in Spencer.