Runnin’ Red Devils end on solid note in March

Mark Martin

It is a basketball coach’s dream to end strong in the month of March.

In normal times that would mean being in the state tournament and perhaps winning it all.

The month of March in the season of 2021 for West Virginia high school basketball simply means hopefully showing signs of improvement in regular season games.

The twice-delayed COVID-19 campaign has teams aiming for the best of times much later this year.

The motto for the Ravenswood Runnin’ Red Devils, and others, is “Make it to May.” That is when the state tournament unfolds this year.

March, strangely enough, is just the beginning.

For Mick Price’s crew, the month did come to a close with a strong finish as the Devils won three in a row over Tyler Consolidated, Roane County and Wirt County.

The Class AA state-ranked (7th in the latest poll) Devils moved to 8-4 as the calendar flipped to April.

Ravenswood 66-Tyler Consolidated 57

Matthew Carte and Ashton Miller were the leaders in the road trip to Tyler as both finished with 15 points.

Carte also contributed six assists, grabbed three rebounds, made two steals and blocked a shot.

Miller snagged four rebounds to go along with his scoring efforts.

Colton Goodwin and Drew Hunt were also in double figures for Ravenswood with 10 points.

Beau Bennett finished with five while Blake Ball and Sean Banks contributed four each. Logan Alfred scored three in the win.

“This was a good win for us,” Price said. “We played with a lot of energy. They (Tyler) were 6-2 going into the game and I knew they had a nice team. It was a good win on the road.”

Ball also had four boards for the Devils.

Ravenswood was 23-of-39 from the field. The Devils hit 4-of-11 from the 3-point line.  Hunt had two behind the arc with Carte, Goodwin, Bennett and Alfred knocking down one each.

The Devils had an excellent game at the free throw line going 14-of-16.

Tyler took the junior varsity game, 48-30. Hayden Shockey scored 14 to lead Ravenswood. Anthony Anglin scored nine, Cameron Taylor chipped in five and Blake Bibbee scored two.

Ravenswood 41-Roane County 33

The Twelfth of Never.

Ravenswood scored 12 points in three straight quarters and got a team-high 12 from Carte to pull out the home victory against their sectional rival.

“They (Roane) have a nice inside game and the (Brayden) Miller kid is a First Team All-Stater in my opinion,” Price said. “We were without Blake Ball (injured hand) and then Ashton Miller went down in the game (knee). We finished the game without anyone over 6-feet tall. Our kids took on the challenge.”

Roane owned a 9-5 lead at the end of the first quarter before Ravenswood took control of the game in the second eight minutes of play. The Devils limited the Raiders to just two points while putting up that first collection of 12.

Banks aided Carte in the double figure column with 11.

Miller finished the game with nine. Goodwin and Hunt each scored four with Bennett adding a free throw.

Ravenswood was 14-of-31 from the field and struggled at the 3-point line by missing on all nine attempts. The Devils were 13-of-19 at the free throw line.

Miller took game-high scoring honors by finishing with 18 for Roane County.

Goodwin and Miller were Ravenswood’s top rebounders with eight and six. Alfred and Carte each had three steals.

Roane won the junior varsity matchup, 44-40. Shockey and Anglin each had 11 for Ravenswood. Taylor was also in double figures with 10. Zane Balis scored six and Logan Mosser finished with two.

Ravenswood 49-Wirt County 34

The Devils jumped to a 17-10 lead at the end of one and would go on to outscore Wirt the remaining three quarters in registering a second win of the year over the Tigers.

"It was a trap game," Price said of the home court win. "We were feeling good about ourselves. We were playing without Ashton Miller and we were cautious with Blake Ball. Wirt does a good job of executing. But we did what we had to do to get the win."

Carte was the game’s top scorer with 19.

Hunt added 12, including three of his team’s four 3-pointers, in the win for Ravenswood.

Banks finished the night with seven while Bennett and Ball delivered five each. Alfred hit a free throw for the Devils.

Ravenswood was 17-of-43 from the field. Bennett had the other 3-pointer for Ravenswood. The Devils hit 11-of-19 free throws.

In the rebounding department, Alfred pulled down eight with Goodwin, Carte and Ball had seven in the game.

The Devils were quite defensive with Carte coming up with four steals, Banks three and Hunt two. Carte also handed out four assists and blocked a shot.

Ravenswood nipped the Tigers in the junior varsity game, 48-46. Shockey had 17 in the win with Anglin and Taylor adding 10. Bibbee had eight, Balis two and Colton Riggs 1.