Saturday, September 30, 2023

Tigers survive OT scare

CHAGRIN FALLS—In the postseason, style points don’t count.

No. 6 seed Chagrin Falls rallied back from a 17-4 first quarter deficit to beat No. 11 Ravenna in overtime on Tuesday, 61-56, in a Division II sectional semifinal.

“When you get down big, to even fight back and even be in the game at halftime was important for us and I think our guys felt pretty good about it,” Chagrin Falls coach Dave Bargar said. “We came out in the second half and we were hoping to get a lead and maybe try to draw them out of the zone but we couldn’t do it. We just tried to make some winning plays down the stretch.”

The upset-minded Ravens got off to a hot start while limiting the Tigers to just four points in the first eight minutes of play, all by senior Jenson Yonker, who finished with a game-high 23.

Chagrin Falls turned the table in the second quarter and outscored the Ravens, 18-9, but still trailed at halftime, 26-22.

“In the second quarter, we started moving the ball a little bit which I thought opened up some better looks for us,” Bargar said. “We also went to our 1-3-1. We had to try to create some offense off of our defense, which we usually don’t do very often but I thought it energized our guys a little bit. We got some easier baskets that way.”

Yonker scored 13 points in the second quarter to help the Tigers begin their comeback.

The Tigers focused on attacking Ravenna’s zone and that allowed them to pull ahead after the third quarter, 40-38.

“The biggest thing was we moved the ball against their zone,” Bargar said. “We started making some 3s too and when you’re playing against a zone you have to make some 3s otherwise they can just sit there in the paint.”

Ravenna managed to tie the game at the end of regulation and the Tigers were clutch from the free throw line in the extra period.

Chagrin Falls was 8-of-8 from the charity stripe and outscored the Ravens in the extra period, 12-7.

“We’ve had some games where we’ve had a chance to win when a play was there to be made and tonight I thought we were able to do it, whether it was getting a defensive rebound or going to the line and making two free throws, which was huge,” Bargar said. “Communicating what we wanted to do defensively not to give them open looks, things like that, all the little things, were the big difference for us.”

Xavier Perez and Jack Amendola also scored in double figures for the Tigers with 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Chagrin Falls (12-11) advanced to play at No. 3 Benedictine in a sectional final on Friday.

Chagrin Falls 61, Ravenna 56 (OT)

Ravenna (6-17): Alexander 9, Bradley 11, Berry 6, Bogo 10, Kelly 2, Jenkins 11, Hanna 7

Chagrin Falls (12-11): Vandertill 6, Owen 4, Norton 2, Amendola 11, Perez 12, Yonker 23.

Ravenna 17 9 12 11 7 — 56
Chagrin 4 18 18 9 12 — 61

Free throws: Ravenna 3 of 5, Chagrin 13 of 19; 3-pointer: Ravenna 6 (Bogo 2), Chagrin 6 (Vandertill 2, Amendola 2, Yonker 2); Rebounds: Ravenna 20, Chagrin 22

Haley Adams
Haley Adams is a 2016 graduate of Cardinal High School. She is currently in her third year at Hiram College with a major in Communications and a minor in Writing. Haley, a three-sport standout at Cardinal, has participated in many athletic events at Hiram and plans to become a sports broadcaster.

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