Ravens' guard hits layup to beat Garfield

By Chuck Condley Record-Courier staff writer Published:

GARRETTSVILLE - Ravenna's Marcus Sanders has made a name for himself on the gridiron the past two years as one of the best running backs in the area. Now, the 6-foot-1 sophomore is beginning to raise a few eyebrows on the hardwood as he helped the Ravens overcome a sub-par shooting night by scoring 15 of his team-leading 17 points in the second half, including a driving layup with three seconds left to allow Ravenna to escape with a 55-53 non-league victory over host Garfield on Tuesday. The Ravens (6-5) hit just 23-of-60 (38 percent) from the floor, but managed to hang on against the inspired G-Men, who led by four points with 2:15 left in the game. Garfield (4-8) took a 49-45 lead on a free throw by Dustin Thomas. But Sanders countered with a bucket to make it 49-47, before Kyle Paul split a pair at the line for Garfield to push the margin to 50-47. A rebound bucket by Chuck Proctor and a pair of charity throws by Eric Stefansic gave Ravenna a 51-50 lead. After a Garfield turnover with 52 seconds left, Sanders hit a driving shot with 48 seconds to go to give the Ravens a 53-50 margin. But Thomas hit a 3-pointer with 35 seconds remaining to tie the score at 53-53. Ravenna ran the clock down and called a timeout. When play resumed, Sanders got the ball at the top of the key and, with the clock running down, used his quickness to drive the lane and lay it in to give Ravenna the lead for good. A long desperation pass by the G-Men was picked off by the Ravens to preserve the win. "We missed a lot of shots that we haven't been missing lately," said Ravenna coach Mark Kinsley. "We got excellent shots, they just didn't fall." The Ravens were just 10-of-30 from the field in the first half and were outrebounded for the game, 40-36. "You have to give a lot of credit to Garfield," said Kinsley. "We knew this wouldn't be an easy game coming in. We've seen (the G-Men) play and we knew that they would play hard. "But I'm proud of our kids because they hung in there and made the plays down the stretch. "We are getting better with each game, we just have to keep working hard and be ready to play every night." Although disappointed, Garfield coach Ken Neff was generally pleased with his team's performance. "I'm happy to have been in a close game with a team that's as athletic as (Ravenna)," said the G-Man coach. "The kids played too hard to lose the game on a layup. But we're playing good ball against some pretty good teams, we just need to continue to work hard in practice." Joining Sanders in double digits for Ravenna was Stefansic with 11, and Proctor with 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Thomas paced Garfield with 19 points, while Brad Vasil added 14 points and eight rebounds.

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