RAVENSWOOD - Tyler Consolidated girls' basketball coach Matt Kinnard does not believe in myths. Especially ones like, ''it's hard to beat a team three times.''
But that is what happened Thursday night at The Pit as Ravenswood, which had dropped both regular-season meetings with the Silver Knights, came away with a 56-55 victory to claim its fourth straight Region One championship and earn a berth in next week's Class AA state tournament at the Charleston Civic Center.
''I just don't believe in myths,'' Kinnard said. ''If I did, then we should have been the team that won by one point.''
Tyler Consolidated’s Sophia Kinnard (30) tries to get around a Ravenswood defender as teammate Hillary Casteel sets a pick.
Photo by Jeff Baughn
The setback dropped the Silver Knights to 11-12 while Ravenswood (15-10) will find out who it will face in the opening round of the state tournament when the WVSSAC releases the bracket later today.
''I think that our girls took the two (regular-season) losses and used them as motivation,'' first-year Ravenswood coach Cara Williams said. ''The game down here, we were ahead by two in regulation and them let them beat us in overtime.
''Then we played probably our worst game of the year at their place and only lost by four.''
That was not the case Thursday, however, as both teams traded knockout blows only to see the other rebound back to make a game of it down the stretch.
The two Little Kanawha Conference North Division rivals battled back and forth through the first 8 minutes of action with Ravenswood's Hannah Murray scoring seven of her game-high 24 points to help the Red Devils knot the game at 12-12 heading into the second quarter of action.
A quarter that witnessed the Silver Knights' Sydney Reed take over, drilling a trio of 3-pointers in the second to lead Tyler Consolidated to a four-point, 33-29, lead at the half.
Ravenswood came out of halftime and took the lead, 34-33, on a 3-pointer by Taylor Youell and a short jumper by Brenna Mahan. However, Tyler's Reed ignited a 6-0 run with her only bucket of the second half with 6:23 showing on the clock.
Reed, who finished with 13 points and four assists, found herself heading to the hospital 25 seconds later after a scrum for a rebound ended with the sophomore receiving a deep cut over her left eye that sent her to the emergency room to receive stitches.
Ravenswood opened the final quarter of action with a 9-0 run-seven coming from Murray, who also had eight rebounds and six blocked shots-to take a 52-44 lead with 4:36 left.
Sophia Kinnard's three-point play 17 seconds later sent the Silver Knights on a 9-2 run to pull Tyler Consolidated to within one, 54-53, with 1:18 left. Free throws from Taylor Treadway and Carmichael gave the Red Devils a 56-53 lead with 12.3 seconds left.
Kinnard's final layin with 1.3 ticks on the clock accounted for the final points, but left the visitors one point shy of sending the game into overtime.
In addition to Murray's 24 points, Ravenswood received 11 points from Carmichael and 10 from Youell while Tyler Consolidated was paced by Wable's 17 points. Kinnard chipped in with 15 points and 10 rebounds while Reed added 13 and Torrye Cline 10.