Rayen pulls out close win on road
An 11-0 second-half run sparked the visiting Tigers.
YOUNGSTOWN -- For three quarters Friday night at the Woodrow Wilson Gymnasium, every thing that could happen, did happen, in the City Series boys game between The Rayen School and the Redmen.
Then, Rayen went on an 11-0 run that started in the third quarter and escalated to the first two minutes of the final period, to come from a 44-38 deficit for a 62-53 win.
Rayen (4-5, 2-0 City) outscored Wilson 19-9 in the fourth quarter of a game that had six lead changes and three ties in the first half. The Tigers went on a 10-2 run to take a 30-26 lead to the intermission.
At the 6:35 mark of the third quarter, with Rayen leading 31-28, there were two technical fouls called on Rayen for its reaction to an earlier call. Wilson's Walter Duncan shot all six free throws and made five of them to give Wilson a 33-31 lead. It was the seventh lead change of the game and it had a very positive effect for the Redmen.
When the dust settled, Wilson had scored 14 straight points for a 42-31 lead.
Rayen stays cool
"I told our guys not to panic because there was plenty of time left and we could get back in the game one basket at a time," said Rayen coach Phillip House. "They listened well and executed well with the end result being that they did just what I asked."
The Tigers responded with a 7-0 run and by the end of the quarter Wilson led only 44-43.
Justin Queener and Dominic Crosby started Rayen's decisive 11-0 run, which was perpetuated by guards Maurice Clark and Deon Elliot.
Rayen's full court pressure became the downfall of the Redmen, as the Tigers forced eight turnovers in the final quarter (Wilson had 22 overall.)
Four Tigers scored in double figures, with Elliot and Clark scoring 16 and 15 points, respectively, while Crosby and Queener scored 12 points each.
Elliot, a 5-foot-7 point guard, also had seven assists and four steals.
"I was always looking for the open shot and found it from different spots on the floor," said Elliot.
Added House, "This was a typical hard-played City Series game and what I am happy about is that our guys played like a team, with everyone contributing for the win."
The rebounding advantage was big for the Tigers -- 47-to-30 -- as Marcel Finkley, Queener and Crosby grabbed nine each, and 6-4 senior Terry McGaha had eight.
Wilson's Walter Duncan totaled 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Justin Maxwell and Bert Pritchard scored 14 points apiece for the Redmen (2-8, 1-2).
"We have to learn how to hold on to leads," said Wilson coach Mark Cherol. "Give Rayen credit; they came back from adversity to win tonight."