Ravenna girls can't close the deal

By Eric Clutter Record-Courier staff writer Published:

STOW - A slumbering Stow offense awoke just in time Thursday as the host Bulldogs rallied past visiting Ravenna 46-39 in a Western Reserve Conference South Division girls basketball game. The Bulldogs (10-3, 5-1 WRC South) scored only 24 points during the first 24 minutes of play but erupted for 22 in the final eight minutes to claim the victory. After hitting only nine of their first 33 attempts, the Bulldogs canned 8-of-15 shots in the fourth quarter to draw even with the Ravens (4-9, 1-5 WRC South), and then pull away. "We've had a string of very, very tough games against difficult opponents," said Stow coach Bob Podges. "We sort of knew we had the potential for a letdown. It was a difficult struggle. Ravenna always plays us very, very well every year." Ravenna, ahead 30-22 late in the third quarter, contributed to the Stow comeback with miscues and by going without a basket for the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, during which time the Bulldogs went on an 8-1 run to take a 32-31 lead with 3:28 remaining. Kyla Hogan's runner with three minutes left put Ravenna back on top at 33-32. Stow's Zara Doolittle hit a pair of free throws, Jen Rocco followed with a putback and Terra Johnson added a layup off a Raven turnover to put the Bulldogs ahead 38-33 at the 2:09 mark. For the game, the Ravens shot just 13-of-42 (31 percent) from the field. Looking good for a majority of the game, Ravenna couldn't close the deal. "Stow played a nice game," said Ravenna coach Keriann Pratt. "We seem to be able to play well for a quarter or two but we just can't seem to finish yet. That's something I hope to improve upon." Playing under control and good rebounding _ the Ravens outrebounded Stow 29-26 _ helped Ravenna to a 9-6 lead after one quarter, a 19-15 edge at the half and a 30-24 advantage after three stanzas. "I think we were more patient and we just did things like what we are supposed to do," said Pratt. "We get to the fourth quarter and we still have young kids and we just get panicky. That's something we'll have to get better at. I will say I am proud of the girls; they did not give up." Lindsey Widener led the Ravens with 11 points and Kyle Davison chipped in with seven. Freshman guard Kristi Zeller paced the Bulldogs with 13 points. Doolittle was next with nine.

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