Frenzied Field basketball flies to the ball, wins fourth straight
RAVENNA — Falcons are birds of prey.
They played like it Monday.
Swooping in for turnovers and flying to the hoop, Field girls basketball picked up a 53-44 victory over host Ravenna at James L. Coll Gymnasium.
"We just kind of went with it," Falcons coach John Misenko Jr., said of his team's ruthless full-court press. "We really haven't worked on it very much, to be honest with you, so I was really impressed with the way that they executed it."
With the victory, Field (4-1, 3-0 Metro Athletic Conference) is already halfway to last season’s overall win total — and one shy of tying last year’s MAC mark.
The Falcons dabbled in the press late in Monday’s first quarter, including sophomore guard Mckayla Miller’s swipe and quick-fire baseline jumper after the Ravens had taken a 10-7 lead.
Field fully committed to the press to start the second.
After sophomore Abby Harlin took a steal all the way for a layup, putting the Falcons ahead 16-13 early in the second, the green light was on.
Out came the press, netting a steal, with Harlin feeding twin sister, Ally, for a layup. Then came another steal and another Ally Harlin layup. And then Field notched another takeaway, followed by another dish from Abby to Ally for a layup. And then after another Falcons steal, the Harlin sisters connected again, in a less traditional way, as Abby missed a corner 3, but Ally was there for the weak-side putback and a 24-13 lead.
Just like that, Field had scored 10 straight points, all in the first two minutes of the second stanza.
"I think we've worked [on the press] three or four times," Ally Harlin said. "We run it against our JV, but we haven't really got the opportunity to pull it out against a team and especially not run it for that stretch of time. We tried to pull it out against Cloverleaf and we were just gassed, but tonight, I think we really had it in us."
The Falcons sure did.
And they weren’t done.
Indeed, they turned another turnover into a Delilah Rahe layup, pushing their advantage to 24-13 just 160 seconds into the second.
"Anytime you have a girl like Delilah in the middle of that diamond press, she can get to a lot of balls that a lot of kids can't, so that helped out a lot, but we started to actually trap more than once," Misenko said. "We were able to create opportunities and then we pushed the ball up ahead, which is what I've been preaching forever. If somebody's open in front of you, push the ball up and go. You'd rather play fast than hold the ball."
The Ravens (1-4, 0-4), to their credit, weren’t done.
While turnovers were a problem throughout the evening, Ravenna stayed in Monday's MAC contest by shooting the ball at a high clip. Indeed, the Ravens were just a touch under 50 percent entering the fourth quarter.
Ravenna rallied early in the third, as freshman Miriyha Sandifer blasted by her defender for a layup and junior Faith Farris (12 points, 6-of-12 from the field) split an approaching double-team in the left post for a high kiss off the glass to draw within 33-29.
The Ravens even got within a possession late in the third quarter as they found senior sharpshooter Kyla Carney, who led them with 16 points, including 4-of-7 from deep, for a corner 3-pointer.
The Falcons answered immediately as Rahe powered her way into the paint for a high kiss off glass to take a five-point lead (40-35) into the fourth.
Rahe, it turned out, was just getting started, as she had seven of her 21 points to lead all scorers in the fourth. (She also had 17 rebounds.)
One of the sophomore’s assists was no less impressive as she barreled down the court after snagging a defensive rebound. With the Ravens still within seven, and Ravenna senior post Mary Laudato angling for a charge to draw Rahe’s fifth and final foul, Rahe deftly dished to Ally Harlin in the nick of time for a layup to go up nine (48-39).
With Ravenna still within single digits with 1:43 remaining, Rahe tacked on a critical bank shot after racing in from the left side, and then at the minute mark, trailed a Field fast break for a putback.
"In that fourth quarter, I had four fouls so I don't want to foul, but I still want to be there for my team," Rahe said. "There's always a chance for them to come back, so every layup counted, every shot counted, so to make it on the contact and put it in, it just was really exciting to me."
This article originally appeared on Record-Courier: Frenzied Field basketball flies to the ball, wins fourth straight