Brentwood left little doubt in their Region 6-AAA boys semifinal game against McGavock Tuesday night, defeating the Raiders 62-43.
The Bruins put the No. 3 seed from District 12-AAA in a hole early, jumping to a 25-13 first-quarter lead thanks to hot shooting from seniors Asa Duvall and Cody Shelton.
“He came out blazing and got us out of the blocks,” Brentwood coach Dennis King said of Duvall. “I called him Usain Bolt in the locker room. He got us out of the blocks like an Olympic sprinter.”
Williamson County’s leading 3-point shooter with 82 on the season, Duvall sunk two from behind the arc in the game’s first four minutes before Shelton came off the bench to help fuel 14-3 Bruin run to end the quarter.
Shelton continues to thrive when the lights are the brightest while being extremely limited in practice due to a nagging knee injury that caused him to miss nearly the entire district schedule.
“He still gets swelling in his leg and knee,” King said following Brentwood’s quarterfinal win over Hunters Lane. “It makes me think that maybe coaches practice too much if he can come in and bang in some of the most crucial shots.”
The tournament No. 4 seed and District 11-AAA’s regular season champion, Brentwood led by double figures for 25 minutes of the 32-minute contest.
Scoring was spread evenly between the Bruins with Shelton having a game-high 16, Duvall 13, Jacob Adcock 10, Andy Schumpert eight, Jack Bautista seven, and James McPherson six.
Brentwood’s balance may end up being their greatest strength moving forward.
“When we are spreading it around we’re hard to guard,” said King. “I told the team, I wouldn’t know how to scout us. If I had to play this team, I would be scratching my head.”
The Bruins reached the semifinals thanks to a 43-36 win over Hunters Lane Feb. 22.
Brentwood’s defense came up big when they needed it the most, holding Hunters Lane to three fourth-quarter points.
The win snapped what was Brentwood’s first losing streak of the season – dropping back-to-back games in the 11-AAA tournament.
“With the season that we had, to end it with a three-game losing streak would be unbearable,” said King. “To still be alive is the greatest feeling in the world.”
Following a first half that saw four lead changes between the Bruins and District 12-AAA’s No. 1 seed, the Warriors went on a 6-2 run through the first five minutes of the second half for a game-high seven-point advantage.
Brentwood countered with a 10-0 run of their own to start the fourth quarter, taking a 36-33 lead before Devine Howard evened the score with a 3-pointer at the 4:40 mark.
Shelton put the Bruins on top for good minutes later with a 3-pointer.
Schumpert led the Bruins with 15 points with classmate Adcock adding eight.
Brentwood’s win over McGavock guarantees the Bruins their third-straight trip to the Class AAA sectional round and a meeting with Hillsboro in Thursday’s Region 6-AAA title game. Winning the region title earns the team a home game in Monday’s sectional against Region 5-AAA’s runner up while a loss forces a road game in the 5-AAA champion’s gym.
The Bruins have not reached the state tournament in the school’s history.