Region tournament semifinal week has arrived and with it comes the heartbreak of a season that ends.
A team may lose one, or even two games in the district tournament and keep playing. Once it gets to the region tournament, there is no recourse. No second chance. No mulligan for a loss.
You lose, you go home.
That reality arrived three days earlier in the Region 6-AAA tournament for Brentwood (26-4), a district champion in the regular season.
The Bruins had a 17-game win streak snapped by Hillsboro and lost two straight in the District 11-AAA tournament.
The fourth place finish relegated the Bruins to a quarterfinal clash last Friday against District 12-AAA tournament champion Hunters Lane. It was more befitting of a finals matchup inasmuch the teams played in last year’s final at Hillwood. Brentwood won 54-51.
This time, the Bruins got back on track with a tough 43-36 quarterfinal decision over the Warriors at Independence High, a shaky victory that kept alive a great season alive.
“It was too bad our teams had to meet so early in the region [tournament],” veteran Brentwood coach Dennis King said. “But with our finish in the district tournament, we were faced with this really tough matchup. We had to leave it all on the court, with no excuses, or our season was over.”
The game didn’t exactly go to plan, but it ended well for the Bruins.
“We wanted to get off to a good start, limit turnovers, play a patient game, work for our shots,” King, who has been Brentwood’s coach 26 years, said. “And the first three quarters, none of that happened. I thought we were playing too cautiously.”
Brentwood trailed 33-26 to start the fourth quarter and faced the prospect that its season would go up in smoke.
But their defense limited the Warriors to just three points in the final quarter and the Bruins finally took the lead at 36-33 on Andy Schumpert’s 3-pointer midway through the final quarter. That sparked a 17-3 run.
Schumpert led all scorers with 15 points.
“We had some seniors step up for us, and that was what it took,” King said.
Next up for Brentwood is another elimination game. It plays McGavock (22-7) in Tuesday’s semifinals.
The District 12-AAA regular season champ McGavock eliminated host Independence 71-58 as five Raiders scored in double figures Saturday.
Hillsboro survived a scare from Cane Ridge which staged a furious rally, but held off the Raptors 53-26 as Jamontae Davis scored 27, more than half his team’s points.
The Burros meet Ravenwood in Tuesday’s semifinals.
• Poised for a repeat: Nineteen years ago, Gary Smith guided his Battle Ground Academy team to a victory over Goodpasture in the 1994 Class A state championship. It was the final high school game for Goodpasture star guard Drew Maddux and future NBA star Ron Mercer.
On Saturday, Maddux’s Christ Presbyterian Academy team (31-2) beat Smith’s White House High team 81-56 in a Region 5-AA contest. On hand at CPA was Mercer.
It was Maddux’s 200th win at CPA. His teams are 200-41 in his seven seasons there.
“They are really good. They are an outstanding DI team,” Smith said of CPA. “They do all the little things well. They have an outstanding player at every position. I think they have an excellent chance [to repeat as Class AA state champions].”
Smith, the long-time coach at BGA who guided the Wildcats to back-to-back titles (1993 and 1994), is happy after his first year at White House, even though the Blue Devils finished 6-23.
“We have just one player who started last year and just three seniors on the team,” Smith said. “The people have been very good to me, I really like it there.”
• Ensworth (21-6), looking for a state title three-peat, almost saw its season suddenly end but rallied for a 72-70 victory over McCallie in Division II-AA sectionals Saturday. Corn Elder sparked the rally with 25 points.
The Tigers, who trailed by nine at the half, joined their girls counterparts, who defeated Pope John Paul II 62-24 on Friday, in the state tournament Ensworth’s girls improved to 25-1.
• Nashville placed three of the four teams in both the boys and girls Division II-AA semifinals In boys basketball, Montgomery Bell Academy, Ensworth and Father Ryan all qualified. For the girls, Brentwood Academy, Harpeth Hall and Ensworth made the field.
The state tournament starts Thursday at Lipscomb’s All Arena. MBA meets Ensworth (boys) and Harpeth Hall takes on Ensworth (girls) in the all-Nashville semifinals.
• Defending Division II-A boys champion Donelson Christian Academy’s season ended with a 70-61 sectional loss Saturday to Lausanne Collegiate.
• Father Ryan’s girls went scoreless in two quarters in a 29-18 sectional loss to Briarcrest Friday. Only three players scored.
• Goodpasture’s 70-59 victory over Maplewood kept District 10-AA from sweeping the four boys Region 5-AA quarterfinal games Saturday. Had Maplewood won, the event would have moved from Vol State to East Nashville.
“That was already decided on and it just made sense,” East Nashville coach Jim Fey said.
• Former Hillsboro High star Jessica Pace was named women’s basketball player of the week for Cumberland University last week.
Pace, who played on Hillsboro’s 2009 state champion team, scored a career high 26 points, with 11 rebounds in a win over Rio Grande. She had 13 points and eight rebounds in an overtime loss to Shawnee State earlier in the week.
Pace leads Cumberland (25-2) in scoring (12.9) and rebounds (8.1).
• Cumberland volleyball coach Dwayne Deering has announced the signing of Independence High all-district star Michelle Evans to play for the Bulldogs. She is the team’s eighth signee.
(At Independence High)
6:00—Independence vs. Antioch; 7:30—Brentwood High vs. Hillsboro
6:00—Brentwood High vs. McGavock; 7:30—Ravenwood vs. Hillsboro
Girls championship, 7 p.m.
Boys championship, 7 p.m.
(At Vol State, Gallatin)
6:00—Lipscomb vs. Macon County; 7:30—Sycamore vs. Christ Presbyterian Academy.
6:00—East Nashville vs. Goodpasture; 7:30—Pearl-Cohn vs. Christ Presbyterian Academy.
(At Eagleville High)
6 p.m.—Nashville Christian School vs. Cascade, girls semis.
Division II-AA State tournament
(At Lipscomb Allen Arena)
Girls: 10 a.m.—Brentwood Academy vs. Briarcrest; 1:15 p.m.—Harpeth Hall vs. Ensworth.
Boys: 11:30 a.m.—Father Ryan vs. Briarcrest; 2:45 p.m.—MBA vs. Ensworth.
Finals Saturday, 11 a.m.
Girls, 9 a.m.
Boys 11 a.m.
Division II-A State tournament
(At Lipscomb Allen Arena)
Girls: 10 a.m.—SBEC vs. Franklin Road Academy; 1:15 p.m.—University School of Nashville vs. Webb.
Boys: 11:30 a.m.—Lausanne vs. Franklin Road Academy; 2:45 — ECS vs. Webb.
Girls, 1 p.m.
Boys 3 p.m.