Published Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 12:01 am / Updated at 12:59 am
Young Ravenna squad slips by Elm Creek

ELM CREEK — It’s probably time to stop associating the word “young” with the Ravenna boys.

A junior went off for 19 points in the first half to quiet a raucous Elm Creek crowd. A freshman knocked down a pair of go-ahead free throws — his first of the night — in the final 17 seconds. And when they needed one last defensive stop in the final seconds, who did the Jays call on?

A junior.

Sure, the Jays made mistakes down the stretch that could’ve cost them the game. But C2 No. 3 Ravenna’s 55-54 road win against D1 No. 3 Elm Creek proved that they’ve learned from their inexperienced mistakes.

“We earmarked this one. It was a tournament atmosphere,” said Ravenna coach Paul Beranek. “It had every ingredient. It had screaming, it had plays made by both teams, it had miscommunications, it had turnovers, it had people panicking. But the cool thing about it is that our guys’ mental toughness made the difference.”

Ravenna snapped Elm Creek’s 12-game winning streak and continued a seven-game streak of its own. Barely, but something gave on Tuesday night.

“No. 1, I’m proud of my boys,” said Elm Creek coach Tanner Cavenee. “We got down. We didn’t really execute well in the first half. We put ourselves in a hole but they battled their butts off.”

Blake Chramosta’s early dominance was why Elm Creek found itself looking at a double-digit halftime deficit. He hit three, 3-pointers in the first five minutes, which spiraled into 19 points in the game’s first 11 minutes.

“It was very, very important for us to get off to a good start, especially when you’re in a hostile environment,” Beranek said of Chramosta, who scored a game-high 23 points. “Blake really stepped it up and did a nice job. I was wishing he’d have another have to do the same. But he’s going to warrant a guy following him around the second half when you do that in the first.”

And while Chramosta dominated the first half, Elm Creek’s Nic Crowley took over in the second.

Crowley, who also had eight boards, scored 16 of his team-high 21 points in the second half to help the Buffs erase a 12-point second-half deficit.

“He’s tough,” Beranek said of Crowley. “Even though we doubled him, he’s still tough. In fact, one time we tripled him and he still scored on us. That says a lot about that young man and how well he played.”

Elm Creek limited Chramosta to four points following his early outburst. But other Jays stepped up down the stretch.

Tom Sieczkowski scored 10 points while Kobe Schirmer made key hustle plays to limit Elm Creek’s opportunities. Brady Standage racked up 10 rebounds against 6-3 Jake Bartling, who had nine points and seven rebounds.

When it was winning time, the Jays put the game in the hands of their freshman.

Gabe Hubbard hit a corner three to give Elm Creek a one-point lead with 26 seconds to play. But Jake Teichmeier immediately attacked the teeth of the Elm Creek defense and drew a foul call in the final 14 seconds.

Calm, cool and collected, he nailed both free throws.

“It was a huge moment for him,” Chramosta said of Teichmeier, who had 14 points. “He’s a freshman but he’s played enough basketball. He’s been through a million situations like that. He’s been working on his free throws hard in practice and he came through for us in the clutch.”

Elm Creek didn’t have the luxury of its point guard on the final possession. Zach Johnson, who had 11 points and eight assists, fouled out late in the fourth quarter.

Still, Bartling put up a potential game-winner while driving to the basket but Standage got a piece of it to seal the win for the Jays.

“This was probably one of the better games in the area this year,” Cavenee said. “There had to be a loser and unfortunately it was us.”

Both of Ravenna’s two losses this season occurred because of failed execution down the stretch in one-possession games. The Jays had backcourt turnovers, forced passes and defensive miscommunications all in the fourth quarter. Beranek admitted his team was disappointed about the manner in which it closed the game.

But learning in a gritty road win is a whole lot easier to stomach than learning in a gut-wrenching loss.

“The first thing we talked about in the locker room was how we’ve got to find ways to win these type of games come late February and March,” Beranek said. “These are the types of games you’re going to be in. What are you doing to do to get over that?

“We have a term; find a way to win. Move on to the next play if you screw up. Our guys did a nice job of that.”

Ravenna 55, Elm Creek 54

Ravenna (14-2)
Blake Chramosta 10-15 0-1 23, Jake Teichmeier 5-11 2-2 14, Tom Sieczkowski 3-9 4-4 10, Kobe Schirmer 3-5 0-2 6, Brady Standage 1-6 0-0 2, Dillan Hough 0-1 0-0 0, Michael Bauer 0-1 0-0 0. TOTALS: 22-48 6-9 55.

Elm Creek (13-2)
Nic Crowley 8-14 4-5 21, Zach Johnson 4-11 2-2 11, Jake Bartling 3-6 3-3 9, Austin Fraser 2-7 0-0 5, Bailey Schoenhofer 1-3 0-0 3, Gabe Hubbard 1-4 0-0 3, Nick Mostek 1-1 0-0 2, Austin Stolp 0-0 0-0 0, Devon Halliwell 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 20-46 9-10 54.

Score by quarters
RAVENNA 19 15 13 8 — 55
ELM CREEK 16 8 19 11 — 54

3-point field goals — RAV 5-15 (Chramosta 3-7, Teichmeier 2-5, Sieczkowski 0-2, Hough 0-1), EC 5-17 (Crowley 1-2, Johnson 1-4, Fraser 1-6, Hubbard 1-3, Schoenhofer 1-2). Rebounds — RAV 22 (Standage 10), EC 24 (Crowley 8). Assists — RAV 9 (Teichmeier 5), EC 14 (Johnson 8). Steals — RAV 5 (Chramosta 2), EC 8 (Schoenhofer 3). Fouls — RAV 12, EC 13. Fouled out — Johnson. Turnovers — RAV 12, EC 14.

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