FONDA – The Fonda-Fultonville defense stepped up to hold Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk to just one fourth-quarter field goal as the Braves worked to erase a 15-point deficit.
With Zac Nowak leading the scoring, the Braves trimmed the Indians’ lead to six with less than a minute to play.
However, Ravena was sharp from the free-throw line in the final stanza, hitting 7-of-12, including 6-for-8 in the final minute, to secure a 61-53 Colonial Council victory Tuesday night at Fonda-Fultonville High School.
“I am proud of the kids; they played hard the entire game,” Fonda-Fultonville coach Eric Wilson said. “We struggled all game to find the right combination that worked on the floor. We were fired up but were inconsistent.”
Fonda-Fultonville got off to a fast start with a Nowak free throw and a 3-pointer from Ryan Derby. RCS turned up the defensive pressure, causing turnovers that it converted into a 7-0 run. The Braves stayed within striking distance as Derby hit his second first-quarter 3-pointer to put the score at 14-11 at the end of the period.
Ravena got a scoring burst at the start of the second quarter with Tim Hughes and Connor Zeoli hitting from behind the arc sparking a 15-3 run, building its advantage to 29-14.
The Braves again closed strong, cutting the RCS lead to 10, 35-25 at the break.
Ravena again used a strong early-period performance to build on its lead in the third period.
Opening the second half with a 10-2 run, the Indians broke away to a 46-27 advantage just 2:30 into the second half.
The Braves again fought back, cutting the Indians’ lead from 19 to 15, 52-37, heading into the final eight minutes of play.
Nowak delivered his first two of eight fourth-quarter points in the opening seconds of the fourth. Mace Madore followed with a basket and Derby converted on a pair of free throws to quickly knock Ravena’s 15-point lead down to 10, 53-43, just over two minutes into the period.
The Braves picked up their defensive intensity after allowing a basket to Desmond Williams and did not allow another basket from the field in the final two-and-a-half minutes.
Offensively, the Braves got six points from Nowak and a free-throw from Will Turner to close the gap to six, 56-50, with 45 seconds left to play.
However, David Warnken countered the Braves’ fouling by converting on 5-of-6 free throws in the final seconds to secure the Indians’ victory.
“That is a good team. They play solid defense and forced us into 10 first quarter turnovers and 17 in the game,” Wilson said of Ravena. “We were inconsistent tonight. We were missing assignments and were getting beat back. We just didn’t do the things we needed to in order to get the job done.”
Derby and Turner finished with 13 points apiece for Fonda-Fultonville, while Nowak finished with 10.
Warnken finished with 18 points including a 10-for-13 performance from the free-throw line.
Williams added 12 points and Zeoli finished with 10. For the game, Ravena shot 20-for-28 from the free-throw line.
The Braves will play the second game of a three-game home stand Friday night when they welcome Colonial Council rival Watervliet.
Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk 61, Fonda-Fultonville 53
Ravens-Coeymans-Selkirk14 21 17 9 – 61
Fonda-Fultonville11 14 12 16 – 53
Babcock 1-0-2, Hall 1-4-6, Hodson 3-0-8, Hughes 2-0-5, Warnken 4-10-18, Williams 4-4-12, Zeoli 3-2-10. Totals: 18-20-61.
Calkins 1-0-2, Madore 3-0-6, Derby 4-2-13, Ives 2-2-6, Nowak 4-2-10, Turner 4-5-13, Williams 1-0-3. Totals: 19-11-53.
3-point goals: Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk 5 (Zeoli 2, Hodson 2, Hughes); Fonda-Fultonville 4 (Derby 3, Williams).