Prior to the boys basketball season, Greenbrier West head coach Jared Robertson said the biggest challenge for his team would be finding a way to put the ball in the basket consistently.
The last two games that task has been a struggle.
After scoring just eight first-half points in a loss to Webster County Friday night, the early scoring struggles continued Monday morning in the Par Mar Stores Shootout at the Big House.
Scoring a mere 12 poiunts in the first 16 minutes of play, the Class A Cavaliers were no match for Class AA No. 6 Ravenswood in a 68-24 loss.
In defeat, West turned the ball over 24 times leading to 25 points by the Red Devils.
“We are turning the ball over too much,” Robertson said. “We are really pressing. Everyone knows Brayden (McClung) is our scorer. They are collapsing on him and beating on him. Some other guys have to step up and take the burden off him some.”
Greenbrier Weat scored the first two points of the game on a bucket from Isaac Agee, but it was all downhill the remainder of the half.
With 6-foot-7 post Dawson Swain creating havoc in the middle scoring the first eight points, Noah Dawson and Logan Alfred drilled back-to-back 3-balls to push the lead to double digits for good.
“I played in Joe Retton’s basketball system at Fairmont State. The game is inside-outside-inside. Anybody that doesn’t know that needs to go back and review it,” veteran Ravenswood head coach Mick Price said. “I know everybody is in love with the 3-pointers, but that part of the game will never change.”
The Red Devils led 21-8 after one quarter and closed the half on a 10-0 run to take a 37-12 lead at the break.
“They are huge. I thought we did a good job early making them shoot shots we needed them to, but their guards made their shots. Give them credit,” Robertson said. When they shoot like that outside, they are tough on a lot of people. It’s not just their two big inside, their guards are big too.”
Ravenswood put any thoughts of a comeback to rest in the third quarter by holding West scoreless for the first four minutes of the second half.
During that span, the Red Devils scored 14 points for a commanding 51-12 lead.
“We got off to a good start today. Our kids have been doing s little bit better,” Price said. “We have been so up and down this season. We are trying to be a little more consistent and hopefully we are.”
Swain led all scorers with 17 points in just over 19 minutes of play, while McClung scored 10 for West.
“It is like the coaching staff talked about after the Webster game. When we make a few shots in the first few minutes, we can play with anybody in Class A,” Robertson said. “When we don’t, our kids hang their heads. That is on me to get our kids playing more confidently and start games better.”