Ravens knock off Cowboys 71-43 to take Special District 1 championship and eliminate CCHS from playoff contention

Tuesday night the Ridgeview Ravens overcame a slow start to roll to a decisive 71-43 over the visiting Crook County Cowboys.

The win gave the Ravens the Special District 1 championship and eliminated the Cowboys from playoff LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Blake Bartels goes in for a layup in the second half of the Cowboys' Tuesday night loss to the Ridgeview Ravens. Bartels scored eight points in the 71-43 loss, which eliminated Crook County from playoff contention.

“Obviously it didn’t come out the way that we hoped it would,” said Crook County Head Coach Darin Kessi. “But I told the boys to keep their heads up because they fought through a lot of adversity this year — overcame a lot of challenges to get to a position for this game to matter. That says a lot about their character, their heart, and their effort, so I was really proud of them.”

Crook County’s Andrew Sofich stole the ball in the game’s opening seconds and scored on a breakaway layup to give Crook County a 2-0 lead.

The play turned out to be the most decisive event in the contest as Sofich landed awkwardly, injuring his ankle. Although he played briefly in the third quarter, Sofich, who scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the Cowboys' dramatic 66-65 win over the Ravens a week ago, was never a factor in the contest.

Still, the Cowboys stayed in the game for much of the first quarter. Crook County led 4-0 after a basket by Jaime Villagomez.

But the Ravens scored the next eight points to take an 8-4 lead. However, the two teams traded baskets for the remainder of the first quarter, until George Mendazona hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift the Ravens to a 17-10 lead.

The second quarter was all Ridgeview as they outscored Crook County 22-9 to take control of the game.

The Ravens led 39-19 at the half, and extended their lead to 58-29 by the end of the third period. Although the Cowboys were able to outscore Ridgeview 14-13 in the final period, it was too little, too late as the Ravens cruised to the LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Max Fahlgren goes up for a basket in the fourth quarter of the Cowboys' loss to the Ravens. With the win, the Ravens earn a play-in game on Saturday against sixth-ranked Sutherlin, while with the loss the Cowboys' season is over.

Ty Hovey led the Ravens in scoring with 18 points, while Mendazona added 14 points and five assists. Justin Alvarez and Jack Bowman were also in double figures with 13 and 12 points, respectively. The Ravens’ Tanner O’Neal led both teams in rebounding, hauling in 12 to go with his two points.

Meanwhile, Seth Kessi was the lone Cowboy in double figures with 10 points. Blake Bartels added eight while Mason Rust had a season-high seven points.

With the win, the 23rd-ranked Ravens (11-12, 2-1) earned the right to face sixth-ranked Sutherlin in a play-in game, which is scheduled for this Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys fell to 3-20 overall and 1-2 in Special District 1.

Despite the season-ending loss, Kessi noted that he was proud of the leadership his seniors provided during the course of the season.

“I was really proud of our seniors for being willing to accept the role that I asked them to play,” he said. “I really appreciated how they continued to work to be positive. They always tried to work to build up their teammates and even at times when they really weren’t getting the playing time that they wanted they still put their team ahead of themselves.”

Ridgeview 71,

Crook County 43

Crook County (43) — Seth Kessi 10, Bartels 8, Rust 7, Kee 5, Kilthau 4, Hernandez 2, Sofich 2, Villagomez 2, Fahlgren 2, Parker 1. Totals 14 10-16 43.

Ridgeview (71) — Ty Hovey 18, Mendazona 14, Alvarez 13, Bowman 12, Johnson 6, Stanton 2, Nelson 2, Johnstone 2, O’Neal 2. Totals 24 16-21 71.

Crook County 10 9 10 14 — 43

Ridgeview 17 22 19 13 — 71

Three-point goals — Crook County: Bartels, Rust, Kee, Kessi; Ridgeview: Mendazona 2, Bowman 2, Alvarez.

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