In the end, the result was still the same, but this loss had a different look.
Ravenna is sharing the league’s best record with Ferrara at 6-2 and had been averaging almost 80 points per game prior to Monday’s game.
Affrico was able to limit Ravenna’s offense, but its own attacking was not fluid enough to start Attilio Caja’s era with a win.
As said, everybody chipped in on the defensive end from the beginning: the score after 5 minutes was 5-4 for the home team.
In the first quarter Swanston scored 5 of Affrico’s seven points while Wood and Simoncelli got in foul trouble early. On the other hand, Amoni’s cold hands limited Ravenna’s early attempt to run away. After ten, the score was 7-14.
In the second quarter, Marco Cucco gave the spark from the the bench needed to keep the game close. Unfortunately the offense still requires some adjusting, as, any time one player found his rhythm, most of the others were missing open shots. Wood’s first half, for example, was abysmal: 1/9 from the field, 3 fouls.
At halftime the game was still close 25-30, thanks to a defense that had limited Ravenna to 38% from the field (12-31).
Alternating man-to-man to zone defense every action seemed to be a well designed scheme, but, in the second half, two of Ravenna’s player that hurt last season’s promotion chances for Affrico, dealt once again lethal blows.
Eugenio Rivali, Ravenna’s diminutive PG (5’10”), nailed 3 three-pointers once Enegan’s defensive rotations tired down.
Affrico found breathing air with Cucco’s array of three pointers and long jumpers. Wood turned the engine on, scoring 19 of his final 21 points in the second half.
Swanston scored 4 more, Pazzi, Conti, Castelli and Fontanti contributed to create an 11-0 run that put Affrico back on Ravenna’s tail (54-55).
Castelli had the shot to give Firenze the lead, but his three-pointer in transition didn’t fall in, and, on the ensuing action Francesco Amoni nailed a corner three. A foul away from the ball during Amoni’s shot granted Ravenna two more points.
With a 6-point lead and less than a minute to play, Rivali was ice-cold from the free throw line and Ravenna left Mandela Forum with a win.
Enegan Firenze-Acmar Ravenna 63-68
ENEGAN FIRENZE: Simoncelli (0/1), Wood 21 (5/14, 2/5), Swanston 9 (3/9, 1/6), Castelli 8 (1/3, 2/3), Pazzi 6 (2/3); Cucco 13 (2/3, 3/7), Fontani 2 (1/1, 0/2), Conti 4 (2/3), Severini (0/1 da 2), Schiano DNP. All.: Caja.
ACMAR RAVENNA: Rivali 24 (2/6, 3/4), Sollazzo 14 (5/9, 1/4), Bedetti 11 (4/6, 1/4), Amoni 12 (3/7, 2/4), Cicognani (0/2); Tambone 1 (0/2), Foiera 4 (1/2, 0/1), Broglia 2 (1/2, 0/1), Locci, Ricci DNP. All.: Giordani
OFFICIALS: Attard, Caruso e Gagno.
SCORING: 7-16, 25-32, 42-48.
NOTES – FG %: Firenze 16/38 from 2, 8/23 from 3; Ravenna 16/36 from 2, 7/18 from 3. Free Throws: Firenze 7/8, Ravenna 15/22. Rebounds: Firenze 31 (Swanston 7), 33 (Amoni 8). Assist: Firenze 13 (Simoncelli 6), Ravenna 8 (Amoni 3). Turnovers-Steals: Firenze 12-8, Ravenna 10-7. Fouled out: Simoncelli. Spectators: 400.