RAMSEY – In a game that featured almost 50 fouls, upward of 30 turnovers and 43 missed free throws, the Ramsey High School boys basketball team still came away with a 21-point victory on the first day of the Ramsey Thanksgiving Tournament.
Ramsey coach Bill Eddy said the 60-39 win against the Beecher City JV team was “by far” the worst 20-point win he has ever coached.
“The first half was ugly,” Eddy said. “It was like no one wanted to play ball.”
The fouls came early and often as Ramsey committed its seventh foul of the half after just 6:40 of play. Despite that, the Rams held a 9-3 lead.
By the end of the first quarter, however, that lead was trimmed to 13-11.
“It was your typical first night, ugly game where everybody isn’t accustomed to the speed yet, and they’re reaching in when they shouldn’t be,” Eddy said.
On Beecher City’s first few possessions, speed didn’t seem like it would be an issue. The Eagles used 1:10 on offense before taking a shot on the first possession and using almost 40 seconds on the next.
Eddy said he wasn’t sure how his team was going to react to that slow tempo, because Monday night was the first time the players had played as a group in a game situation.
That tempo did not stick, but the game was eventually slowed by fouls and turnovers. Ramsey, however, found itself with a 20-11 lead early in the second period.
Beecher City then used a 9-3 run to pull within four at halftime. If the Rams continue to allow comebacks in the first half of games, Eddy said it will be a “different story” for the team the rest of the season.
“But in the second half, they started playing basketball the way they should,” he said.
Senior center Blake Hadley – Ramsey’s only returning starter – scored six points to help give the Rams a 33-22 lead in the third quarter before being hit with his fourth foul of the game with 3:03 left.
Hadley sat out much of the second quarter after taking his second foul, and he knew he needed to make a difference for the team while he had the chance.
“He’s our one returning starter from last year, so he’s going to have step up big,” Eddy said. “After his three fouls, he knew he had to come out and do something.”
With Hadley on the bench, the Rams still continued to push their lead, taking a 44-31 advantage by the end of the third and holding the Eagles to eight fourth-quarter points.
The second-half effort showed the resilience of the team, Eddy said.
“They didn’t get too far down on themselves in the first half, and when the game was over in the second half, they didn’t get too high,” he said.
The Rams had a brief scare in closing minutes after senior Jordan Johnson chased a loose ball and hit his knee against the wall. He left the game, but Eddy said it was just a bruise, and Johnson – who had a team-high 21 points – should not miss any games.
Monday, Nov. 22
Ramsey vs. Beecher City JV
Points – Johnson, 21; Austin Cunningham, 12; Hadley, 7; Tyler Pryor, 5; Jacob Bergin, 4; Luke Webb, 4; Blake Bauer, 3; Jake Roberts, 2; Asa Thomas, 2.