’Jackets nearly upset loaded Ravenswood

JAY W. BENNETT The Marietta Times Williamstown’s Eli Inman, left, makes a move with the ball as Ravenswood’s Stephen Dawson defends during a high school boys basketball game Tuesday.

WILLIAMSTOWN — No. 2 Ravenswood upped its record to 9-0 here Tuesday night, but it wasn’t easy as the Red Devils got the game-winning deuce from Stephen Dawson with 12.5 seconds left to survive No. 9 Williamstown, 62-61.

Eli Inman celebrated his 16th birthday by pumping in both a career and game-high 27 points for the ‘Jackets, but his potential winning shot from just inside the foul line was off the mark as time expired as too was the previous attempt by teammate Boston Caruthers on the baseline.

“We’ll be OK,” said WHS head man Scott Sauro, whose 6-2 club returns to action tonight when Gilmer County invades. “Eli played well and I thought Xavier Caruthers played well for us. We really got contributions from a lot of different guys, even outside the scoring column.

“We had to in order to be in that one and have a chance to win. We felt like we should’ve won it. They made one more play than we did. With that being said, there are several plays we’d like to have back and a couple of out of bounds plays and a couple offensive rebounds that they got and stuck back.”

Cullen Cutright, who made all seven of his field goals and finished with 15 points, put the hosts ahead 55-49 at 5:19 of the fourth following his three-point play. However, the only other field goal by the ‘Jackets the rest of the stanza came via a Xavier Caruthers (13 points) jumper from the elbow, which provided a 57-53 cushion with 2:55 remaining.

“I’m proud of my kids. They stuck with it and won a tough game on the road,” said Red Devil head coach Mick Price. “Scott Sauro and his coaching staff and their players, they outplayed us. They outplayed us all night.

“It wasn’t until the last possessions and maybe being that we were seniors and had some older kids on the court that might’ve helped, but I thought his young kids outplayed us tonight for 30 of the 32 minutes in the game. Granted, we made some plays where we needed to make a play and that’s the character of a team with some experience.”

Dawson had the only double-double of the tilt as he finished with 15 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Isaiah Morgan had a team-high 21 points. Chase Swain chipped in a baker’s dozen, which included a trio of 3s in the second period, while Jayden Rhodes finished with eight markers.

Inman’s triple right before the horn to end the third period put the hosts ahead 48-45 and the Red Devils, who welcome No. 3 Notre Dame to town on Saturday, didn’t take the lead until 60-59 when Dawson scored inside following a ‘Jacket turnover via a 5-second call on the inbounds.

Although Inman, who went 8 of 8 from the charity stripe, canned two freebies for a 61-60 lead with 27 seconds to go, Dawson scored an easy one in the paint after Morgan missed a 3 and the ball was batted around until it fell in his hands.

Blake Bennett’s 3 opened the scoring and it was 11-4 RHS early, but the ‘Jackets proceeded to go on a 10-0 run thanks to a pair of Cutright hoops and 3s by Xavier Caruthers and Inman. Instead of leading 14-11 after one, the advantage was just a single point as WHS failed to take the last shot of the quarter and Rhodes grabbed the rebound off a missed 3 and raced coast-to-coast for a lay-in.

Williamstown, which shot 22 of 42 (52.4 percent), led 33-31 at intermission.