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WMC boys basketball: Ravenna runs into Benzie Central buzzsaw in Cornerstone event

Bulldogs suffer first loss of young season and in humbling fashion.

Coach Courtney Kemp of the Ravenna boys basketball team is photographed at the CatchMark Media Day on Nov. 24, 2021, in Whitehall, Mich. (Cody Ottinger | CatchMark)

Ravenna boys basketball coach Courtney Kemp could see it coming, as much as he hoped it would not materialize.

The Bulldogs were due for a humbling defeat and that’s exactly what they got in a 68-39 loss to Benzie Central in a showcase game Wednesday during the Cornerstone Holiday Tournament.

It was the first setback of the young season for the ’Dogs, who are now 3-1 overall.

“I saw this coming. This started the second half of the Hart game,” said Kemp, referring to Ravenna’s 59-58 home win over Hart Dec. 16, when the Bulldogs squandered a 20-point lead but pulled out the win in the closing seconds.

“We haven’t prepared like needed and that’s on me.”

Benzie Central improves to 4-0, including an eight-point season-opening victory over a Ludington team that pushed Reeths-Puffer to overtime.

On Wednesday, Benzie led Ravenna 20-9 after one quarter and 38-21 at the half. The Huskies continued to pull away in the second half.

The Bulldogs shot 28 percent from the floor (16-of-57), including 18 percent from 3-point range (4-of-22). The Huskies had a big advantage over the ’Dogs in points off turnovers, 24-5.

Kyle Beebe and Travis May led Ravenna with 14 points apiece. Beebe also had six rebounds, three steals and two assists, while May added two rebounds, two steals and two assists.

Grant Becklin had six points, four rebounds, three steals and two assists.

Quinn Zickert scored a game-high 21 points for Benzie Central, while Nate Childers had 13.

Ravenna will have to bounce back quickly, as the Bulldogs (2-0 in the West Michigan Conference) have two league tests at home next week. They host North Muskegon next Tuesday and Oakridge next Friday.

“We have some guys that have forgotten how hard it is to win,” Kemp said. “And we were due for an attitude adjustment. Now, the next step is to see if we have the maturity to move on or do we dwell?

“Benzie is for real in the sense they are physically able to play with anyone and their belief (and) confidence is top notch. Nice program on the rise. They kicked our butts in every facet of the game today.”

Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

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