Ravens best Cavaliers; Wolves & Jets win

It was a fiery clash between Cavaliers and Ravens that proved to be the top game of the evening. Ravens had posted a narrow loss to Cavaliers in the opening game of the season, followed by a solid defeat in the second round. Keen to prove their potential, and powered by youthful enthusiasm, Ravens flew from the start with quick baskets by Logan Glover, Miltos Provatakis and Matthew Jones. Cavaliers found themselves on the backfoot for most of the first quarter, with inside work from Dave Minay keeping them in the game but never quite giving an edge as Ravens defence adjusted to deny. It seems Ravens would take the quarter until a 3-pointer from Phil Evans in the final minute gave Cavaliers a single point lead, 11-10 at the buzzer.

Ravens posted anther strong start in the second quarter, Jones and Glover again leading the charge. Cavaliers struggled to overcome a strong Ravens defence in the opening minutes and it wasn’t until the mid-quarter that they started to break through, this time big man Minay joined by Martin French from outside the arc. Despite solid offence movement and good shot selection the rings at the NSC denied Ravens for most of the final minutes of the second quarter, a solitary basket by Glover in the ninth proving their only success. The solid defence of Ravens kept damage to a minimum though, and when half-time came Cavs had only extended their lead by a point, 20-18.

The third quarter again opened well for Ravens as Provatakis swished a 3-pointer to snatch the lead. A quick reply from Evans put Cavaliers back in front but it proved short lived as Jones was joined by Ronan Thompson on the scoresheet for Ravens, with solid mid-range shots from both players. The two teams traded the lead for much of the third but momentum was with the Ravens who proved difficult to contain as scoring was spread throughout their squad while Cavaliers relied on the inside play of Minay. A corner 3-pointer from rookie Daniel Davison kick started a late run by Ravens that saw them push to the largest lead of the game, 31-37 at the end of the third.

Momentum was well and truly with Ravens who held the lead, and a solid defensive line, against an onslaught from Minay and Evans in the opening  minutes of the fourth. Pace and precision paid off for Ravens during the mid-quarter as quick movement down the court and good decision making on offence led to an unanswered 9-point run which Cavaliers struggled to recover from. Ravens held their nerve to the end, answering a late 3-pointer from Evans with a 6-point fast break run by Glover, Jones and Zak Mitchell, and when the final buzzer came they had taken a well-deserved win, 44-56.

The other games of the evening saw solid wins for Wolves and Jets. Wolves ran the floor against Turkeys with aggressive defence and solid shooting powering them to a 98-50 victory. Meanwhile Jets pace down the court let them notch up a 101-40 win over Hoops.

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