Ravenswood defeats Roane County to claim sectional title
RAVENSWOOD — Even after arriving back from a three-week layoff, Ravenswood’s girls’ basketball team knew if they had to, they could rely on their defense as everyone shook off offensive rust. The unit was fully healthy and recently back to full strength with fresh legs after the long break.
Everyone was spritely enough to stifle Roane County’s dynamic duo of Faith Mason and Maddie Hall in a Class AA Region IV, Section 2 championship game, and to let the offense have time to warm up, if need be.
That anticipated test surfaced and was passed with winning colors Thursday evening.
In an impressive display and perhaps with a little help from a hobbled Raider club, the Devilettes forced 14 turnovers, didn’t allow their opponents to play much team ball with zero assists, held Roane to 39% shooting and celebrated a 53-47 home win.
Annie Hunt scored 16 points, Hadleigh McGoskey and Emily Wratchford chipped in 12 more and the Devilettes moved to within one win of the state tournament. They meet Buffalo for a 7 p.m. Region 2 co-final start Thursday in The Pit.
Roane County was led in scoring by Faith Mason’s 12 points and Maddie Hall’s 10 points.
Leading 23-16 at halftime, the Devilettes made a quick push to stretch the lead to 11 on one of Hunt’s field goals quickly in the third. From there, they enjoyed the advantage the rest of the evening. Even as Mason and teammate Gracie Drake combined for a 9-0 run that cut the deficit to 29-25 with three minutes left, no one panicked for the home team. They promptly punched the lead back up to 12 with their own 11-2 run. And with that the period came to a close.
It was a performance Cara Williams was happy to see from her group, especially after the halftime speech.
“We knew we had to come out and have a strong third quarter and get our focus back and I think we played better in the second half. We just knew we had to fight. We are at the point in the season where everyone is fighting for their lives and there are no easy games,” Ravenswood head coach Cara Williams said of her team’s third quarter effort.
And she was right.
Though thwarted in their earlier attempt, the Raiders wouldn’t go away in the fourth quarter. They made one final push. Fueled by a two Hall buckets (a trey and a deuce), along with one of Lexie Wright’s shots, Farrar and company sliced the lead to six points with under 15 seconds left. Yet, Wratchford was able to hold on to the ball and run out the clock.
Hunt was immediately able to point out the difference from the first half.
“We just started working together and were much more confident. We started passing it better and our defense was just much more solid in the second half,” Hunt said.
Roane County was hobbled more than usual with one of its starting guards missing, the other (Hall) in foul trouble, and three girls dealing with bad ankles. All in all, it wasn’t what Roane County head coach Frank Farrar wanted to see, but he was still impressed with how his team competed.
“For what we had, I thought we did a tremendous job,” he said.
As a testament, the Raiders held their hosts to 36% shooting on the night.