Ratledge ‘man among boys’ for JV boys

Published 9:32 am Thursday, December 30, 2021

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By Brian Pitts
Enterprise Record

Sophomore Ethan Ratledge started the basketball season on the varsity bench, then averaged five points in his first four JV games. He flourished in his fifth game, scoring 18 to lead a 71-43 drubbing of Atkins on the road on Dec. 18.
“Ethan came in (off the bench) and played like a beast,” coach Tracey Arnold said. “He played like somebody who came off varsity. He was a man among boys.”
Davie started sluggishly, so Arnold pulled his five starters and summoned Ratledge, Cam Ball, Elijah Dillard, CJ Phelps and Luke Clark. They injected life in the War Eagles, who accelerated to an 18-8 lead behind Ratledge’s seven and Dillard’s six.
“We started out like we ended up (in a 60-49 loss at Reagan in the previous game), so I had to go to my second group,” Arnold said. “I put a whole new five in and they changed the momentum and got us back on track. We were pressing, running and going like we had been. We got separation and blew them out from there.”
After taking a 35-22 lead to halftime, the War Eagles stomped on the gas in the third. Carter Helton poured in 11, Braddock Coleman had 7 and Ratledge added 6 as Davie put up 24 in the quarter to push the margin to 59-36.
Helton hit three 3s and finished with 15 points, and for the second time in three games, Davie scored its most points since 2017. This marked the most in 84 games.
Davie got nine from Coleman, eight from Dillard, six from Ian Koontz and four from Phelps. Trey’von Doulin, Ball and Sebastian Bellomo had three each and Clark had two.
Davie 32, WR 27
After scoring the most points since January of 2017, the War Eagles didn’t come close to their previous game’s output at West Rowan on Dec. 21. They did just enough to win for the seventh time in nine games.
A fast clock had something to do with the unimpressive scoring total. Playing two 20-minute halves, there was a running clock except the last minute of the first half and the last two of the second.
But Davie didn’t do itself any favors while committing 17 turnovers.
“It’s been the same thing our last three games: We missed layups and free throws,” Arnold said. “In a three-minute stretch, we missed eight layups and missed four free throws. We missed three in another possession.”
It was 15-15 at halftime. West was still hanging around late in the fourth quarter. The dagger was a 3-pointer from Helton.
“Late in the game we went to Indiana and Carter made a 3 that got us up a little bit,” he said. “Then we started pounding them on the boards and drawing fouls.”
Koontz paced Davie with seven points. Gavin Williams, Ratledge and Helton had six apiece. Ball had three. Dillard and Bellomo had two.