An inspired effort led by sophomore guard Andrew Dukes and senior center Tracey Condos helped Ravenna bring its 14-game losing streak to a close Tuesday.
Dukes and Condos each posted double-doubles to help the Ravens to an impressive 67-44 non-league victory over visiting Garfield.
Making the win even more dramatic was the fact that the Ravens seemed dead in the water late in the first half.
After falling behind 23-9 midway through the second quarter, Dukes and Condos led Ravenna on a 22-4 run in the final 4:40 of the first half, helping the Ravens to a 31-27 halftime advantage.
Ravenna (2-15) put the game away with an equally impressive close to the second half, outscoring Garfield 25-7 in the fourth quarter to turn a slim five-point lead into a blowout.
"We really needed a game like this, especially at this time of year," said Ravenna coach Robert Rhodes. "All season long, one of our downfalls has been inconsistent intensity. We started out slow and let (Garfield) dictate the tempo. But then when we went into our press we picked up the intensity, got our emotions into the game and fed off of that."
Dukes, who posted game highs in points (17) and rebounds (13), and Condos, who added 14 points and 10 rebounds, were the emotional leaders, coming up with big plays on both ends of the court.
Condos scored 10 of his 14 in the second quarter, including three consecutive baskets on low-post moves to kick off the Ravens' 22-4 spurt after they had gone scoreless in the first 3:20 of the period.
"Tracey played by far the best he has all year," said Rhodes. "If he can continue to play like that, I think we really may be able to surprise some teams."
Dukes' athleticism played a key role in Ravenna's second- and fourth-quarter runs. The 6-foot-1 guard came up with several acrobatic rebounds and steals to jumpstart the Ravens' fastbreak.
Dukes also managed to put the cap on a few Ravenna breaks. His finger roll after a steal by teammate Brian Gaski at the first-half buzzer gave the Ravens their 31-27 lead.
"That was probably Andrew's best all-around game of the year," said Rhodes. "When we scrimmaged Springfield, he played like that. Since then, he hasn't had that same type of complete game. I think he is starting to feel more and more confident in his game and that is giving him the confidence to play a little more loose."
The Ravens' effort was more than just the Dukes and Condos show. The entire Ravenna roster contributed to the victory, including point guard Damien Fortson, who scored 12 points, and Brian Gaski (12 points) and Chris Rhodes, who each helped to put the dagger in the G-Men's heart with fourth-quarter 3-pointers.
"Ravenna really deserved this win," said Garfield coach Mike Cook. "I'm happy for them, but I'm disappointed in the way we played. We put together a great quarter and a half, then Ravenna put on the pressure and we didn't handle it really well. The bottom line is that we didn't play very well. If you don't play a good second, third and fourth quarter, you are not going to beat many teams."
The bulk of Garfield's scoring was provided by the frontcourt of freshman forward Brian Cooper (17 points) and senior center Shane Austrup (13 points). Cooper helped the G-Men (6-12) jump out to their early lead, scoring the team's first nine points.
After watching Cooper post 11 points, five rebounds and four steals in the game's first 10 minutes, Ravenna finally found a way to stop the 6-foot-5 big man. With the Ravens' fullcourt pressure limiting his touches, Cooper managed just six points, one rebound and no steals in the final 22 minutes.
Ravenna 67, Garfield 44
GARFIELD (44) _ Justin Ross 1 0-2 2; Adam Etling 1 2-2 5; Shane Austrup 5 1-2 13; Brian Cooper 7 2-2 17; Marcus Roach 1 0-0 2; Paul Shilling 0 1-3 1; Adam Vincent 1 0-0 2; Rob Hindman 0 0-0 0; Josh Balazs 0 0-0 0; Ben Brosius 0 2-2 2. Totals 16 8-13 44.
RAVENNA (67) _ Damien Fortson 6 0-1 12; Chris Rhodes 1 0-0 3; Brian Gaski 4 3-4 12; Andrew Dukes 8 0-2 17; Tracey Condos 6 2-6 14; Kris Yost 0 0-0 0; Joe Salem 0 2-3 2; Marlon Jones 2 2-2 6; Devon Boyd 0 1-2 1; Aaron Wymer 0 0-0 0; Jeff Kiel 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 10-20 67.
GARFIELD 14 13 10 7 _ 44
RAVENNA 9 22 11 25 _ 67
Three-Point Goals _ Garfield (4-17): Austrup 2-4, Etling 1-1, Cooper 1-4, Roach 0-1, Balazs 0-1, Vincent 0-2, Ross 0-4. Ravenna (3-11): Dukes 1-1, Gaski 1-2, Rhodes 1-4, Jones 0-1, Fortson 0-3.
Total Rebounds _ Ravenna, 35-29
Total Turnovers _ Garfield, 22-17
Total Fouls _ 17-17
JV Score _ Ravenna, 44-29. Leading Scorers: (R) Devon Boyd, 16 points; (G) Rob Hindman, 8 points.