OTTAWA - On Wednesday night, the Carleton Ravens came out on the winning end in another nail-bitter of a Bytown Battle beating the Gee-Gees 64-59.
The Carleton Ravens got out to a quick start as Aidan Warnholtz (Ottawa, Ont.) and Biniam Ghebrekidan (Gatineau, Que.) scored early. The Ravens built a 9-0 lead to start the game, working the Gee-Gees in the paint. Over five minutes has passed when the Gee-Gees, who started the game 0-for-14, would get on the board. It didn’t take long for the Ravens to respond as Ghebrekidan would hit a final minute three followed by a Cordell Veira (Toronto, Ont.) buzzer-beater to wrap up the quarter with the Ravens up 17-4.
After the Gee-Gees started the quarter on a 6-2 run, the Ravens would shake it off as Aiden Warnholtz would stay hot hitting a short-range jumper before Ghebrekidan would hit another from the corner to re-establish the lead. After Grant Shephard (Kelowna, B.C.) added two free-throws to put the Ravens up 17 the Gee-Gees would go on an 11-0 run cutting the lead to 6. The Gee-Gees claw all the way back, missing a second quarter buzzer-beater to trail the Ravens 30-28 at the half.
This would settle down in the third quarter. After both teams took turns with big runs in the first half, the two teams would settle into a relatively even matchup of Top 10 teams. After outscoring the Gee-Gees 19-17 in the third, the Ravens led by four entering the fourth quarter 49-45.
Without Alain Louis (Montreal, Que.) in the line up the Ravens mixed up their looks throughout the game sometimes alternating bigs and often featuring Lloyd Pandi (Ottawa, Ont.) with three guards. For coach Taffe Charles, the different looks were about getting everything he could out of his roster. “The biggest thing with us and our bench is just making sure everyone is accountable.” The Ravens would use eleven players on Wednesday with eight players playing ten or more minutes. “We’re going to go deeper than we normally do, and that’s going to require everyone to be dialled in and do their part, get key contributions and key minutes.”
While the Ravens mixed up their style, it was Ghebrekidan who would shine in a new role draining 2 three-pointers as he scored 15 while scoring in double-digits for the sixth consecutive game. Unfortunately for the Ravens, Ghebrekidan would foul out with just under three minutes to play as the Ravens led 59-57.
After both teams traded points into the final seconds, Grant Shephard would grab the rebound on a Cordell Veira miss drawing a foul and going to the line leading by two. After making the first, Shephard would miss the second but Lloyd Pandi would grab his ninth rebound forcing the Gee-Gees to foul, sending Warnholtz to the line ending the Gee-Gees comeback.
“Everyone gets up for these games,” explained coach Charles discussing his team’s ability to compete on a short turnaround. “We had a good crowd, it’s nice to get back into that, and with it being uOttawa, everyone wants to do well.”
The Ravens now turn their attention to a key home-and-home next weekend with the Queen’s Gaels. “The reality is we’ve got to get better, we’ve talked to the guys about what our expectation levels are and we’ve got to keep working.”
After a Friday night on the road, the Ravens will face the Gaels in their final regular season home game Saturday, March 12 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets for the Saturday game are on sale now.
From the Stats Sheet