NORTON: Ravenna girls basketball coach Sonny Tilden shook his head and smiled before he spoke about what he witnessed Wednesday night.
Tilden’s team played hard, defended and rebounded well.
They also turned the ball over — a lot.
Ravenna committed 38 turnovers, but also grabbed 44 rebounds in a 46-43 victory over host Norton in a Portage Trail Conference Metro Division game.
Junior guards Deja Sanders and Ja’Lynn Starks combined for 27 points to lead the Ravens (3-2, 2-1) over the Panthers (4-3, 2-1), who had 26 turnovers and 27 rebounds.
“Both teams turned the ball over a lot,” Tilden said. “We missed a lot of easy shots and so did they. Our rebounding kept us in the game. Sometimes we would get two or three shots on possessions, and that helped us win.”
Ravenna won despite 16 turnovers in the fourth quarter, including four in the final 1 minute and 16 seconds that resulted in four layups by Norton senior Brooke Robinson.
“At the end there, oh my gosh,” Tilden said. “Yeah, we have some work to do. Way too many turnovers. I haven’t seen anything like that.”
Robinson finished with 15 points, 10 steals and seven assists to pace Norton. Junior Hannah Bergstrom totaled 13 points, six rebounds and four steals.
Norton led 11-6 after one quarter, but Ravenna rallied and led 18-15 at halftime and 35-28 following three quarters.
Sanders scored 16 points and grabbed four rebounds. Starks chipped in 11 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals.
The Ravens’ top rebounders Wednesday were sophomore Taylor Geib (nine points, 12 rebounds), junior Whitney Jones (four points, six rebounds) and sophomore Nicole Simpson (two points and five rebounds).
“[Sophomore] Emily Holt coming off the bench played some huge minutes for us, and Whitney Jones gave us a spark,” Tilden said.
“We have to cut down on the turnovers. The girls know that. This was ugly. I am just glad we were on the win side of this.”
Senior Dayna Rabatin scored six points for Norton, and junior Paige Szittai scored five points.
Norton coach Brian Miller said his team is playing without three rotation players because of injuries: juniors Brooke Tokes and Nina Dzombic and freshman Jimi Howell. Tokes and Dzombic are out for the season with knee injuries. Howell is out with a back injury and might return.
Ravenna’s lineup Wednesday featured just one senior, Courtney Cross. The Ravens other senior, Fallon Schwab-Davis, missed Wednesday’s game due to an injured collarbone and bruised ribs from a game with Kent Roosevelt.
“I don’t know when I am going to get her back,” Tilden said.
“We really missed her tonight with her senior leadership.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.