The Ravenwood Raptors have stamped themselves as a team few — if any — want to face tournament play.
That was made clear last Friday when they staged an amazing second-half rally and knocked off District 11-AAA boys champion Brentwod 56-55 on the Bruins’ floor on the final night of the regular season.
Even though they finished under .500 in the district, the Raptors, with that victory, lassoed the No. 4 seed and earned first-round home game against No. 5 Franklin High (7 p.m. Thursday) in the district tournament. Hillsboro was the only other district team to beat Brentwood.
Ravenwood is 16-9 overall, yet its 4-6 mark in 11-AAA includes a loss to last-place Centennial and two more to fifth-place Franklin.
“We’ve beaten Brentwood, Hillsboro and Independence, the top three teams in our district,” veteran coach Patrick Whitlock said. “But we haven’t been consistent enough to beat some of the teams who finished behind us, or we could have finished higher.
“I think our tournament is wide open. What I like about the win [over Brentwood] is that we stayed after it, we had to grind it out. No one on our team gave up after we fell so far behind in the first half.”
The turn of events made a believer out of Brentwood coach Dennis King.
“I believe Ravenwood will win that game [Thursday],” King said. “I can’t see Franklin beating a team as good that three times. I fully expect to see them [Ravenwood] again Saturday [in the district semifinals].”
• Battle of top guards: The Ravenwood-Brentwood game featured players many feel are the two best guards in the district — Brentwood’s Jack Montague and Ravenwood’s Devin Robinson, both seniors.
Montague poured in a game-high 29 points, including four of his team’s eight 3-pointers.
Robinson led Ravenwood with 20 points, and paced the Raptors’ rally with 11 points the fourth quarter.
“Jack’s a great player, and he’s going to get his points,” Robinson said. “You can’t stop him. You just have to try to slow him down. We tried to make it hard for him to get the ball, limit his open looks.”
It was a boisterous night at the Bruins gym, which had a standing room only crowd of more than 1,000 fans to see the Williamson County rivals duke it out. Each school’s cheering section was loud as they hurled taunts at each other.
Brentwood (22-6, 8-2) led 33-19 at the half, but wilted under the offensive surge of Robinson who scored many of his hoops in transition after steals.
After Ravenwood went ahead 42-41 early in the fourth quarter, 3s by the Montague and teammate Andy Schumpert rebuilt the BHS lead to 53-45. But Robinson’s two free throws capped an 11-0 run that put the Raptors in front 56-53.
Montague’s two three free throws with 19 second left made it 56-55 and set up a wild finish. Ravenwood missed of four straight free throws, and Brentwood got the ball back with 2.3 seconds left.
Robinson leapt and intercepted a baseball pass near mid-court. But after he stumbled to the floor, he was called for walking, and .4 seconds was put back on the clock. The Bruins’ pass from mid-court to the basket was swatted away as the buzzer sounded.
“It was unbelievable,” said Robinson, who has received interest from MTSU, TSU, Tennessee Tech and Furman. “It seemed like those last two seconds took about two days to finish.”
King was furious at how his team let the lead slip away.
“We had things completely under control at the half, then we melted down mentally. We started making terrible decisions and taking some very bad shots,” he said.
Brentwood remains hopeful for the return of standout junior forward Cody Shelton who has been sidelined since Nov. 17 with a meniscus tear in his knee.
“He’s been out two and a half months, and it’ll just be a bonus if he returns,” King said.
• Montgomery Bell Academy was the surprise boys winner of the Tennessee Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association (TISCA) state meet at Centennial Sportsplex.
The Big Red won its second title in the last three years with 331 points, 15 more than defending champion Baylor.
Maclin Davis broke the national record in the 100 meter butterfly with a 46.64 in the qualifying round Friday. The Southern Cal bound Davis also won the 100 freestyle Saturday in 44.84.
Harpeth Hall finished second in the girls championships with 332 points, 40 behind Baylor.
• Qualifying 10 wrestlers for the state meet, Ravenwood won the Division I, Region 6 tournament at Overton High on Saturday with 206½ points, finishing ahead of county rivals Independence (191½), Franklin (176½) and Brentwood (152½). McGavock was fifth with 152.
Centennial’s Paul Agnew (120 pounds) and Parker Smith (152 pounds) defended their titles with victories over Ravenwood’s Kyle Kuehnhold and Tanner Reynolds, respectively, in the finals.
The Division I state meet is Friday and Saturday at Franklin Ag Center.
• John Patton, an assistant coach at his alma mater Brentwood Academy before becoming a pastor at Christ Community Church, is a candidate for Hillsboro High School football coach.
Patton confirmed he was among 68 who applied and has formally interviewed.
A decision is expected before the end of February.
Wednesday (girls): Ravenwood at Independence, 7 p.m.; Centennial at Franklin, 7 p.m.
Thursday (boys): Franklin at Ravenwood, 7 p.m.; Centennial at Independence, 7 p.m.
(at Franklin High)
Saturday (girls): Brentwood vs. Franklin-Centennial winner, 4 p.m.; Hillsboro vs.
Independence-Ravenwood winner, 7 p.m.
Saturday (boys): Independence-Centennial winner, 5:30 p.m.; Brentwood vs. Ravenwood-Franklin winner, 8:30 p.m.
Monday: girls, 6 p.m.; boys 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday: girls, 6 p.m.; boys 7:30 p.m.
(at Antioch High)
Thursday (girls): Glencliff vs. Hillwood, 6 p.m.
Thursday (boys): Glencliff vs. Hillwood, 7:30 p.m.
Friday (girls): McGavock vs. Hunters Lane, 4 p.m.; Cane Ridge vs. Glencliff-Hillwood winner, 7 p.m.
Friday (boys): Cane Ridge vs. Overton, 5:30 p.m.; McGavock vs. Glencliff-Hillwood winner, 8:30 p.m.
Saturday (girls): Antioch vs. Hunters Lane-McGavock winner, 4 p.m.; Overton vs. Cane Ridge-Glencliff/Hillwood winner, 7 p.m.
Saturday (boys): Hunters Lane vs. Overton-Cane Ridge winner, 5:30 p.m.; Antioch vs. McGavock-Glencliff/Hillwood winner, 8:30 p.m.
Monday: girls 6 p.m.; boys 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday: girls 6 p.m.; boys 7:30 p.m.
Boys play-in: Hume-Fogg 39, Whites Creek 33.
Monday (girls): Stratford at Christ Presbyterian Academy; Hume-Fogg at Pearl-Cohn; Whites Creek at David Lipscomb; East Lit at Hume-Fogg, all games at 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday (boys): Hume-Fogg at Christ Presbyterian Academy; Pearl-Cohn at Maplewood; Stratford at East Lit; M.L. King at David Lipscomb, all games at 6:30 p.m.
(at Stratford High)
Friday (girls): Quarterfinal winners, 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Friday (boys): Quarterfinal winners, 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Monday: girls 6 p.m.; boys 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday: girls 6 p.m.; boys 7:30 p.m.
Monday (girls): Clarksville Academy at Nashville Christian School, 6 p.m.
Tuesday (boys): East Robertson at Nashville Christian School, 7 p.m.
Tournament moves to East Robertson Friday, Saturday
Division II-A Middle/East Region
Monday (boys): St. Andrews-Sewanee at Franklin Road Academy, 6 p.m.; Donelson Christian Academy at Ezell-Harding, 7 p.m.; Davidson Academy at University School of Nashville, 7 p.m.
Tuesday (girls): Webb at Franklin Road Academy, 6 p.m.; Davidson Academy at University School of Nashville, 6 p.m.; St. Cecilia at Ezell-Harding, 7 p.m.
(at Webb School, Bell Buckle)
Friday: girls 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.; boys 4:45 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.
Saturday: girls 2 p.m.; boys 3:45 p.m.
Saturday: girls 5:30 p.m.; boys 7:15 p.m.