RAVENSWOOD-Tyler Consolidated head girls basketball coach Matt Kinnard does not believe in myths. Especially ones like, "it's hard to beat a team three times."
But that is what happened Thursday night at The Pit as Ravenswood, which had dropped both regular season meetings with the Silver Knights, came away with a hard fought, 56-55, victory to claim its fourth straight Region I championship and earn a berth in next week's Class AA state tournament at the Charleston Civic Center.
"I just don't believe in myths,' explained Kinnard. "If I did, then we should have been the team that won by one point tonight."
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Tyler Consolidated’s Sophia Kinnard dribbles while Ravenswood's Hannah Murray, center, tries to battle through a pick set by Hillary Canteel Thursday during their Class AA regional game at Ravenswood. The Red Devils won, 56-55, to advance to next week's state tournament in Charleston.
The setback dropped the Silver Knights to 11-12 on the season while Ravenswood, now 15-10, will find out who it will face in the opening round of the state tournament when the WVSSAC releases the bracket later today.
"I think that our girls took the two (regular season) losses and used them as motivation," explained first-year Ravenswood head coach Cara Williams. "The game down here we were ahead by two in regulation and them let them beat us in overtime.
"Then we played probably our worst game of the year at their place and only lost by four."
That was not the case on Thursday, however, as both teams traded knockout blows only to see the other rebound back to make a game of it down the stretch.
"That has kind of been our M.O. throughout the tournament," continued Williams. "You can't really blame it on our inexperience any more because we have a whole regular season behind us. But we have made a habit of making games more exciting than they should be."
The two Little Kanawha Conference North Division rivals battled back-and-forth through the first eight minutes of action with Ravenswood's Hannah Murray scoring seven of her game-high 24 points to help the Red Devils knot the game at 12 heading into the second quarter of action.
A quarter that witnessed the Silver Knights' Sydney Reed take over, drilling a trio of triples during the frame to lead Tyler Consolidated to a four-point, 33-29, lead at the intermission.
Ravenswood came out of halftime and took the lead, 34-33, on a triple by Taylor Youell and a short jumper by Brenna Mahan. However, Tyler's Reed ignited a 6-0 run by the visitors with her only bucket of the second half with 6:23 showing on the clock.
Reed, who finished with 13 points and four assists, would find herself heading to the hospital 25 seconds later after a scrum for a rebound ended with the sophomore receiving a deep cut over her left eye that sent her to the emergency room to receive stitches.
After a 20-minute delay the Silver Knights responded to their fallen teammate's departure with Sophia Kinnard and Allison Wable scoring layups to increase the Tyler lead to five, 39-36, with 4:44 left in the quarter.
Now it was the Red Devils' turn to respond and respond they did as Murray's short jumper in the lane started a 9-4 run by the hosts over the next three minutes. A Melonna Carmichael triple ended the surge and knotted the contest at 43 with 1:54 showing on the clock.
Tyler regained the lead before the quarter's end as Kinnard hit one-of-two from the charity stripe. But that would be the final point scored by the visitors until a three-point play by Wable with 4:19 left in the game.
In the meantime, Ravenswood opened the final quarter of action with a 9-0 run-seven coming from Murray, who also had eight rebounds and six blocked shots-to take a 52-44 lead with 4:36 left in the game.
Kinnard's three-point play 17 seconds later sent the Silver Knights on a 9-2 run to pull Tyler Consolidated to within one, 54-53, with 1:18 left in the game. But free throws from Taylor Treadway and Carmichael over the next 50 seconds gave the Red Devils a three-point, 56-53, lead with 12.3 seconds left.
Kinnard's final layin of the game with 1.3 ticks on the clock accounted for the final points, but left the visitors one point shy of sending the game into overtime.
In addition to Murray's 24 points, Ravenswood received 11 points from Carmichael and 10 from Youell while Tyler Consolidated was paced by Wable's 17 points. Kinnard chipped in with 15 points and 10 rebounds while Reed added 13 and Torrye Cline 10.
Clay County 52, Tolsia 47
CLAY-Clay County recovered from a four-point deficit at the end of the first quarter and defeated Tolsia 52-47 in a Class AA, Region IV contest on Thursday night.
Trailing 10-6, Clay County outscored Tolsia 19-14 in the second quarter behind 11 points from Jacee Markle. Markle, who finished with a game-high 25 points, added another eight points as Clay extended the cushion to 44-35 by the start of the fourth period.
Krista Maynard knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and finished with 23 points for Tolsia.
Clay County (19-6) will play in the quarterfinal round of the state tournament at the Charleston Civic Center next Wednesday against an opponent to be determined today by the WVSSAC.
Parkersburg Christian 88,
Mid-Valley Christian 30
PARKERSBURG -The seniors at Parkersburg Christian completed it four-year run of winning all of its home games after defeating Mid-Valley Christian (Middleport, Ohio), 88-30 on Thursday night.
Corey Alley, who was crowned homecoming king before the game, led the Knights with 26 points in just nine minutes of playing time. Also finishing in double figures were teammates Korben Wright with 17 points and Eric Wade with 16 points. Austin Alley pulled down 15 rebounds for Parkersburg Christian, which closes out the regular season at 15-3.
Fairland 59, Warren 50
ATHENS, Ohio - The ninth-ranked Warren Warriors ran into a buzzsaw after losing to Proctorville Fairland 59-50 in a Division II district semifinal game Thursday night at the Ohio University Convocation Center.
Austin Henthorn led the Warriors (20-3) with 18 points, while Josh Winland finished with eight points and eight rebounds.