CREEDMOOR — After battling its way through two close contests to reach the championship round, Ravenscroft sailed to a 76-52 victory over host South Granville Saturday to take the holiday invitational Bojangles bracket title.
Ravenscroft outlasted Sanderson in double overtime in the first round and then topped Green Hope, ranked No. 3 in The News & Observer’s poll of area teams, 65-57.
The Ravens controlled the championship game Saturday, taking the lead midway through the first quarter and never relinquishing it, eventually widening the margin to 28 by the end of the third period.
“If we’re calling it what it really was, they were the better team. They had more talent,” said South Granville coach Jake Wohlfeil. “I thought our energy was unbelievable to start the game and we stuck with them, but we missed some shots early on and we just couldn’t keep it up.”
The Vikings struck first in front of the home crowd, prompting Ravenscroft coach Kevin Billerman to call a timeout with his team down 5-2 just two minutes into the game.
The Ravens responded with an 11-0 run and led by 15-10 after the first period.
South Granville would cut the deficit to one before Ravenscroft took control, using its transition game to beat the Vikings.
The Ravens led 32-18 at the half, but outscored South Granville 22-8 in the third quarter to put the game out of reach.
“In the third quarter we were flat, our energy was gone,” Wohlfeil said of his South Granville team, which rode a six-game winning streak into game. “Overall, I feel very good about our invitational performance. This is the best we’ve done in the three years we’ve had it. ... Our program grew as a whole this weekend.”
Senior Marcus Bryan, who led all scorers with 15 points, was named most valuable player while Ravenscroft’s Chris Corchiani (nine points) and South Granville’s Mario Thorpe (four points) were named to the all-tournament team.
Brandon Ragland led the Vikings with 10 points and David Reynolds added nine for the Ravens.
“The important part for us is we have eight guys in our rotation that have not played varsity before,” Billerman said. “There is a difference between a good hard practice and the bright lights going on, and I think we’re starting to show some composure under the big lights.”