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The depth of the Greenfield School varsity basketball team’s weaponry left Ravenscroft School of Raleigh a convinced visitor Wednesday night.
The Ravens, 4-A members of the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association, predicated their defense on a box-and-one against standout Knights senior guard Creighton Lebo. Lebo went scoreless the first half and wound up with just six points.
But four of Lebo’s teammates scored in double figures and, triggered by a triple-double from senior Dji Bailey, Greenfield, the reigning NCISAA 1-A champion, ambushed Ravenscroft at the start of each half in tearing to an 102-86 victory.
Greenfield vaulted to 4-1 as the 6-foot-5 Bailey, who signed with Wake Forest University last week, drilled in 19 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and came up with 11 steals.
Senior Jordan Lynch blistered the nets for a career-high 27 points, while senior Collin Guilford fired in 23 and 6-5 senior Trey Pittman canned 13.
“Offensively, we got it going,” Greenfield head coach Rob Salter understated. “We’ve got so many weapoons.
Explained Ravens head coach Kevin Billerman: “We think a lot of Lebo; we think he’s the key to their team. That allowed other players to get it going. They obviously have other weapons.”
Observed Lynch: “That opened up the floor for everybody. We were able to get into the lane and create.”
Greenfield dealt the Ravens their third loss without a win.
The Knights pounced with pressure from the opening tip, resulting in Greenfield netting the first 11 points and Billerman calling a pair of time-outs. Guilford jump-started the Knights before picking up two quick fouls.
Ravenscroft answered with eight consecutive points behind 6-8 senior Myles Evans and 6-5 senior Brady O’Connell, who is headed to Old Dominion University. The Ravens seized their only lead at 15-14 on O’Connell’s free throw, but Bailey retaliated with a 3-pointer for Greenfield.
Greenfield maintained a slim lead in the second quarter as junior Justin Holland came off the bench and buried all three of his shots from 3-point range.
Up 46-42 at intermission, the Knights took command at the outset of the second half — again jump-started by Guilford. Eighth-grader Hampton Evans turned a putback into a three-point play to end the third quarter and stake Greenfield to a 74-62 margin.
The Knights pulled away at the start of the last quarter when a flurry of Ravenscroft turnovers were converted into Greenfield transition field goals.
“I still think our zone was adequate,” Billerman said. “But we had 26 turnovers and that led to 30 points for them. They got 30 points on layups. When you keep throwing the ball away at half-court, it’s tough to win. When we handled the ball with strength, we were pretty good.”
Taller Ravenscroft outrebounded the Knights 46-28 but sank only 10-of-19 free-throw attempts and were outscored 27-12 from behind the arc. The Ravens swished 36-of-65 shots from the floor for 54-percent accuracy, while the Knights were 36 of 60 for 60%.
Evans wound up with 25 points and 19 rebounds, while O’Connell added 13 points and seven rebounds. Senior Josh Hall dropped in 17 points.
In the meantime, Salter praised several of his many weapons.
“Collin just made great plays,” Salter said. “When Jordan lets his defense lead to offense, he’s really good. Dji was strong with his rebounding, and he made shots and great passes.”
But for Salter, the furious pace wasn’t fast enough.
“I want us going every single possession,” he remarked. “But to score 100 points in two straight games, the offense is rolling. But we have to get better defensively.”
Of his performance, Lynch responded: “I had a bad game Saturday and I had to bounce back, play hard and let it happen. We played really well, but we can play better defensively.”
The Knights expect another stern test when they welcome Cape Fear Academy of Wilmington on Friday.
Hall 17, Riley 6, Philips, O’Connell 23, Brown, Evans 2, Wright 6, Williams 7, Evans 25.
Lebo 6, Lynch 27, Guilford 23, Pittman 13, Bailey 19, Evans 3, Holland 9, Peters 2.
Score by quarters:
Ravenscroft 18 24 20 24 — 86
Greenfield 21 25 28 28 — 102