The Ravenscroft boys’ basketball team earned their ninth win of the season on Saturday night, as they defeated Broughton 64-55 in the first round of the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational.
“I think the difficulty of our early schedule has boded well for us,” Ravenscroft head coach Kevin Billerman said. “It has gotten us prepared, toughness wise, to play good teams.”
The Ravens were able to defend the post extremely well, holding Broughton’s Jack Hemphill and Jeremy Robinson to a combined eight points, and knock down timely 3-pointers throughout the game.
Juniors Michael Okauru and Douglas Elks both had a big game in front of a big crowd, scoring 19 and 15 points, respectively. Okauru had two fast break dunks, while Elks hit three first half 3-pointers.
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“Last year when we played here, we didn’t do too well,” Okauru said. “We wanted to come back out here and show the city what we’re made of.”
For Broughton, senior guard Tharon Suggs led the way with a game-high 21 points. Aaron Gottfried chipped in 13, and Will Baldwin added 12.
“We played well at times, but we’re still trying to figure out how to play hard for four quarters,” Broughton coach Jeff Ferrell stated. “We’re just not the team right now that can take plays off or make mental mistakes.”
After going into halftime down by eight, Broughton (4-6) came out with some new energy. The Capitals set up a full-court press, forced a couple of Raven turnovers, and took a 42-40 lead midway through the third quarter.
“Aaron Gottfried got a couple big steals and that really sparked us,” Baldwin said. “We fed off his energy and we all wanted to play harder, cut the lead down, and eventually take the lead.”
Broughton’s lead would not last long however, as Ravenscroft responded with a couple of baskets to regain the lead. A 3-pointer from DuBose (12 points, 2 blocks) would suck the air out of Broughton’s rally and the Ravens never trailed again.
“When Ian hit a three, that put us up six,” Billerman said. “I knew the game was expanding a little bit and we were going to go to motion high. And anybody chasing us is going to have a hard time because we have so many good ball handlers.”
Ravenscroft (9-3) advances and will play Voyager Academy (12-1) on Monday at 1:50 pm. These two teams met eight days ago at Ravenscroft, with the Ravens coming away with an 85-64 win.
Broughton will face Apex (8-4) in the consolation bracket on Monday at 9:00 am. This will be the second meeting between these two programs as well. The Capitals won the first matchup 69-51.