KENT: Kent Roosevelt had its best defensive game of the season and shut down rival Ravenna’s offense to win at home 48-31 on Wednesday night.
After giving up 13 points in the first quarter, the Rough Riders held Ravenna without a single point in the second quarter and to only four points in the third quarter, much of it through a suffocating press and the ability to contest nearly every shot the Ravens attempted. By the start of the fourth quarter, Roosevelt had pushed its lead to 34-17 and cruised the rest of the way for the Portage Trail Conference-Metro Division win.
Rough Riders coach Craig Foreman said his team hasn’t been doing anything special defensively — Roosevelt also held Green in the lower 30s in a win earlier this week. They’ve just bought in to doing the little things.
“It’s nothing too exciting other than the girls just really playing hard and playing fundamental defense,” he said. “Basic defense. It sounds stupid, but it’s true.”
The Rough Riders (10-5, 7-1 in the PTC-Metro) have now won seven consecutive PTC games. Roosevelt also won the initial meeting earlier this season against rival Ravenna, making it the first time in more than a decade that the Rough Riders swept the season series.
Much of the success in the past seven games has been through Roosevelt’s deep rotation, which also played a major role in the win over Ravenna.
Junior Alex Marsinek and senior Megan Thomas tied for a game-high 10 points. Each also had three rebounds. Junior Kasey Nielsen added nine points, four rebounds and a steal. Senior Justina Fortson finished with five points to go along with five rebounds and five steals. And junior Brianna Rock had five points as well.
It’s that type of balanced scoring that’s allowed the Rough Riders to sustain such a winning streak.
“It’s chemistry,” Foreman said. “No matter who we put in. We’ve always worked for that but this team is really jelling. There’s no let-up when I sub. They all stick together.”
Foreman said after the game that he has to pick a Player of the Game each night as part of a promotion through Domino’s pizza. There have been a few nights where he drew a blank at first because there have been positive contributions from several spots on the roster.
“It’s funny, I have no idea who the [heck] it’s going to be tonight,” he said. “But that’s a good thing. It’s a fun decision to make.”
The Ravens (10-5, 5-2) were led by senior Fallon Schwab-Davis’ eight points and eight rebounds. Junior Deja Sanders and sophomore Taylor Geib each added six points.
Ravenna couldn’t handle Roosevelt’s defensive pressure, according to coach Sonny Tilden.
“We didn’t handle their pressure. That’s what they did to us the first time we played,” he said. “We worked over the past two days on it. We kind of panicked sometimes and made some bad passes and bad decisions. But they’re a good team.”
Ryan Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/RyanLewisABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.