RAVENNA — The day and goal were different for the Cloverleaf boys basketball team, but the intensity remained the same Friday night as the surging Colts defeated Ravenna 54-41 in Portage Trail Conference Metro Division action.
“I wouldn’t say it was great, but it was efficient and we got the ‘W’, and that was the most important thing for us with tournament seeding coming up,” Colts coach Jack Banks said.
One game after clinching the first winning season at Cloverleaf (13-6, 8-4) in 31 years, junior Brycen Holliday and the Colts were out to prove they deserve to host a tournament game when seeds are drawn next week.
“We are rolling right now, and that’s a good thing headed into tournament time,” Holliday said.
The Cloverleaf guard was the definite go-to-man against Ravenna (3-14, 1-11), scoring his team’s first five points. When the Ravens briefly grabbed the lead late in the first quarter, a Holliday 3-pointer with less than a minute left in the period gave the Colts a 12-10 lead they did not relinquish.
“(Holliday) practically carried us in the first half,” Banks said. “I don’t (usually) get impressed, but I was impressed and he was in that zone. It looked like he was throwing it in the ocean, it really did.”
Holliday scored 10 points in the period and continued with the Colts’ first five points in the second quarter. Holliday scored 18 of his game-high 23 points in the first half on seven field goals. His fourth 3-pointer of the half stretched the Colts’ lead to 26-18 at halftime.
“I was just taking what the defense was giving me,” Holliday said. “My teammates were finding me and I was lucky enough to knock them down tonight.”
The Colts’ calling card of multiple defenses caused confusion and wreaked havoc on the Ravens as Cloverleaf held its eighth straight opponent to fewer than 50 points in a 17-turnover effort. The Colts would have held Ravenna to fewer than 40 points, but junior Zechariah Jones scored on a layup with two seconds left.
“We change a lot of defenses and we make sure we’re good at every single one of them,” junior Cruz Severson said. “If the offense gets used to it, we can just keep twisting it.”
Isaiah Bradley led the Ravens with 12 points. No one else tallied more than seven.
In the second half, Ravenna switched up its defense and put center Amil Jenkins on Holliday for long stretches. The post’s length was effective on Holliday, holding him without a field goal in the third or fourth quarters and limiting him to 5-of-6 from the foul line.
The rest of Cloverleaf’s primarily six-man rotation stepped up behind seven points by center Sylar Jones in the second half. The junior finished with 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds.
“Cruz (Severson), Sylar, Nate (Riley), everyone that was involved did something to contribute,” Banks said. “It was a collective effort in the second half, and that’s normally what we do.”
Ravenna defeated Cloverleaf 61-45 in the junior varsity game. Freshman Blake Benko scored 12 points to lead the Colts.
Contact John Urchek at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cloverleaf 54, Ravenna 41
CLOVERLEAF 12 14 15 13 — 54
RAVENNA 10 8 13 10 — 41
Cloverleaf — Nate Riley 1-3-5, Nick Bailey 1-1-3, Sylar Jones 5-1-11, Cruz Severson 2-2-6, Brycen Holliday 7-5-23, Tyler Webb 0-0-0, Matt Tanko 2-1-6, Ashton Newton 0-0-0. TOTALS: 18-13-54.
Ravenna — Isaiah Bradley 4-3-12, Brant Hanna 1-0-2, Amil Jenkins 2-3-7, Joey Bogo 2-0-5, Ethan Alexander 2-0-5, Cam Berry 2-0-5, Owen Whittington 0-0-0, Zechariah Jones 2-0-4, Brandon Macko 0-0-0, Paul Henderson 0-1-1. TOTALS: 15-7-41.
3-point goals — Holliday 4, Tanko, Alexander, Bradley, Berry, Bogo. Rebounds — Ravenna 29 (Jenkins 11), Cloverleaf 22 (Jones 7). Assists — Cloverleaf 9 (Severson 5), Ravenna 6 (Alexander 3). Records — Cloverleaf (13-6, 8-4), Ravenna (3-14, 1-11). Junior varsity — Ravenna 61, Cloverleaf 45.