Ravenswood wins sectional title after overtime battle with Parkersburg Catholic
Will host Van 7 p.m. Wednesday
RAVENSWOOD — Cade Ullman drained a late corner 3 to force overtime and Parkersburg Catholic’s defense was stifling most of the time here Friday in the “Pit” during the Class A, Region IV, Section 1 championship game, but host Ravenswood opened the extra session with consecutive turnaround jumpers from Stephen Dawson en route to a 52-47 victory.
The 23-1 Red Devils of head coach Mick Price, whose squad will play host to Van at 7 p.m. Wednesday in a co-regional final, went a combined 2 of 21 from the field in the third and fourth quarters and failed to make a field goal in the final period.
“All of our games are like that,” Price said of playing the Crusaders, who dropped to 14-10 and will hit the road Wednesday to Tug Valley needing a win to reach the state tournament. “We know how good they are. I thought (Patrick) Copen played well for them tonight. I thought some of there other kids stepped up good and Ullman, we can’t stop him. I mean we’ve played him three times and he’s averaged about 75 points a game on us. Pete Maravich didn’t score as many points in college as he’s scored against Ravenswood.
“One of the things that I thought tonight, the difference in the game, was Blake Bennett, Alex Easthom, Lakin Tucker and Chase Swain. Those guys, they always do the dirty work, the rebounds, guard the toughest guy, go get the loose balls, set the picks and they changed the game tonight because of how they played.”
Wearing No. 13 instead of his usual No. 20 due to catching an elbow late in the third and getting blood on his jersey, Red Devil Isaiah Morgan drained two foul shots with 2:29 left in the fourth for a 45-42 lead. However, the final points of regulation came on Ullman’s 3, which came after Ty Sturm grabbed an offensive board and found him open.
Morgan had a chance at the game-winning bucket, but his 13-footer was of the iron. Swain’s backside rebound and putback was off the mark and a failed desperation tip-in effort by Dawson was no good.
Once in the extra session, Morgan found Dawson just 13 ticks in for a 13-foot turnaround jumper to give the Red Devils the lead for good. While PCHS couldn’t convert on the other end, Dawson pushed the lead to 49-45 with 1:58 to go in overtime on an 11-foot turnaround jumper. Although Dawson missed two foul shots at 50.5, an Ullman layup for the last of his game-high 27 points, proved to be the only markers for the visitors in overtime.
Jayden Rhodes, who had 14 of his team-high 19 points in the first half before having double leg cramps early in the fourth quarter while Morgan was still out, made two foul shots with 18.7 left and Easthom tacked on a foul shot for the final margin of victory.
“Having a bunch of seniors we want to play at home and be around this community,” said Dawson, who had 12 points and 10 boards. “It was just a big win for us. That’s a great team, but we just want to keep playing at home as long as we can.
“They were playing great defense and we were just trying to do what we can do. The shots weren’t falling, but we just stuck with it and played good defense.”
Rhodes scored seven straight points during a 15-2 run in the first quarter which helped the Red Devils hold a 22-10 lead after one.
“Both calves cramped up. It was a double whammy on the calves, definitely,” said Rhodes, who came back in overtime and watched Morgan return soon after he got back to the bench with 6-plus minutes to go in regulation.
“I came out ready to play. I was so hyped about the game. I just wanted to get everything started. Once we got everything going it was good. Then I started cramping and Isaiah went down, man, and I started stressing. It feels great. We’ve all played together all of our lives. It’s just a brotherhood.”
PCHS, which held the Red Devils to 16 of 53 (30.2 percent) from the field, got nine tallies from Ullman in the second quarter, but still trailed 34-25 at intermission.
Morgan’s 3 pushed it to 12 to open the third, but the final field goal for RHS came on a Rhodes 3 at the 3:21 mark and PCHS climbed back into it trailing just 42-36 entering the fourth.
“I think when I got the offensive rebound, I just pump faked and went up and just caught an elbow,” said Morgan, who had 12 points, a game-high 11 rebounds and joined Dawson with a pair of blocks. “That’s basketball. First of all, blessed to again be here and home-court advantage here in Ravenswood. We’ve got a great crowd and a great fan base. I thought both teams played well, played very hard and it was a tough-fought game. I thought both teams prepared and it was a fun game to play and a fun atmosphere.
“It’s a game of runs. We got a good one there in the first half and they came back in the second half, but that’s why you got to battle through. You got to be able to weather the storm. That’s part of being a team that can win those big games, being able to battle through the tough parts of games.”
Sturm and Copen finished with eight points apiece for the Crusaders, who shot 21 of 52 (40.4 percent), but made just 2 of 16 from downtown.
“It would’ve been nice,” said PCHS head coach Rob Strcula of having another home game this year. “When we wake up in the morning this is going to string, but it’s going to motivate us. We’ve got to find a way to bounce back and get ready for Tug Valley.
“It doesn’t get any easier going from Ravenswood to Tug, but I got all the faith in the world in my guys after seeing what we were able to accomplish today. I think we can play with anybody. What we have to do is bottle up our emotions and our energy and unleash it next Wednesday.”