Benedictine had a nine day layoff between games, but they weren’t rusty in their 78-56 win over Grand View.
The Ravens defense created 14 turnovers including nine steals as Grand View never found rhythm in their offensive sets on Monday night.
Head Coach Ryan Moody shared that the Vikings are one of the most dangerous teams to play when they get going offensively. But, the Ravens never let that happen as the Vikings shot 35% from the field.
“I thought our defense was relentless all night,” Moody said.
Grand View’s guard, Ryan Miller, average’s under 23 points per game. This ranks him second overall in the Heart for total points.
The Raven’s on ball defense against the junior was impressive. Miller scored only two points as he failed to score a basket from the field.
“We accept it [Miller’s ability to score] as a challenge,” Moody said. “We have all these guys that want a piece of a player like that.”
Benedictine’s Matt Austin played defense against Miller all night as he earned two steals.
“As a team our defense has been really strong,” Austin said. “We know that they have really good players that are coming in here. It was a team effort to stop them and we’ve been successful so far.”
Austin was also successful in the offensive game. He scored 14 points on 6 of 11 shooting as he earned a majority of his points from the mid range area.
The Ravens used an on ball screen to free up Austin on plenty of occasions. This allowed him to create his own offense or decided to pass it to a teammate, Austin also finished with four assists.
“It’s a big shot for us because there is so much stress on three pointers and getting to the rim,” Austin said. “So, having that middle game really opens up. It was there tonight, it was open, I took it and hit it. It worked pretty well.”
The nine day layoff also helped introduce some new sets for the home team. A new inbounds play had the Ravens in a stack formation which resulted in Jayden Temme setting numerous screens.
The Vikings defense fell asleep on Temme as they fought through screen after screen.
Temme was there wide open underneath the hoop for the easy basket.
This type of unselfish play was evident all night as the Ravens had 22 assists on 31 made baskets.
“We have guys that are willing to pass it,” Moody said. “The mentality of our guys is that we don’t care who gets the credit each night. We just want to go out and win the game.”
Grand View’s loss to Benedictine means they will be coming to Atchison again as the Heart Men’s Basketball Championship begins.
The Ravens and Vikings will square off in the first round on Thursday night.
“Be ready to adjust to whatever they [Vikings] bring to this gym on Thursday and I think our guys
will be ready,” Moody said. “We have never won the Heart tournament, so we are excited to get started and give it a shot.”