CARSON CITY – Every Cinderella has to face the reality of the clock striking midnight, and that came on Wednesday night for the Ravenna boys basketball team.
The Bulldogs, who plowed their way to a district title and beat North Muskegon in the first round of regionals on Monday, put up a real fight against a good Pewamo-Westphalia squad, but ultimately fell 48-38 in a Division 3 regional championship game at Carson City Crystal High School.
Ravenna battled back from a big deficit and tied the game early in the fourth quarter, then lost standout Kyle Beebe to fouls and was outscored down the stretch.
The Bulldogs ended the season with a 16-7 record and a district championship, after finishing second in the tough West Michigan Conference in the regular season.
They will lose five seniors to graduation, including several who were dinged up but played through the pain on Wednesday.
“They kept battling,” said Ravenna head coach Courtney Kemp about the senior class. “It’s a credit to our seniors. It’s no surprise that they fought through it and gutted it out.”
One of those seniors who had his high school basketball career come to an end was Beebe, who hit the winning three-pointer with two seconds left in the district championship game last week.
“Yesterday and stuff I’ve been dealing with my side,” said Beebe about playing through an injury. “We don’t know exactly what it is. I’ve just been wrapping it and giving it a go.”
Things looked bleak at the beginning of the game for Ravenna when Pewamo-Westphalia jumped out to a 20-4 lead midway through the first quarter.
The Bulldogs pulled themselves together a bit after the rough start and trailed 20-10 at the first buzzer. Senior Grant Becklin paced the Bulldogs with five first quarter points.
“They came out and hit shots,” Coach Kemp said about Pewamo-Westphalia. “They showed the veteran team that they are. They’ve been here before and we kind of stumbled.”
Ravenna outscored the Pirates 8-7 in a quiet second quarter to cut its halftime deficit to 27-18. Becklin and Clay Schullo each had four points for the Bulldogs in the second.
The Bulldogs raced back into the contest in the third quarter, outscoring Pewamo-Westphalia 14-7 and trailing by only two points, 34-32, headed into the fourth.
A Travis May basket near the beginning of the fourth quarter tied the game at 34-34. But Beebe fouled out shortly after and the Pirates outscored the Bulldogs 14-4 to end the game.
“We didn’t have enough time to recover,” Kemp said.
Schullo and Becklin each finished with 11 points on the night while Beebe totaled eight for Ravenna.
Blake Smith had 15 points for the Pirates while teammate Evan Droste totaled 12.
While the season has come to an end, Beebe said he will remember the fun he had, after the disappointment of the loss fades.
“I’m proud of all of our guys,” he said. “We just fought. Even in this game we were down a lot but fought. We haven’t had that high of expectations, but we made history and I’m really proud of us for that.”