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Ravenwood handles Centennial, awaits Indy

Van Jefferson scored Ravenwood’s first seven points on three-for-three shooting from the field and adding a free throw to give the Raptors a fast 7-0 start against Centennial Tuesday night. 
Then he barely touched the ball again.
He didn’t have to, as his teammates picked up any slack and roared to a 67-49 win over the Cougars on their home floor, leaving Ravenwood 1-0 early in the District 11-AAA race.
“You just want to be 1-0 every night,” said Raptor head coach Patrick Whitlock.  “Every game is going to be a war.  We played a solid game tonight, but I think we can play much better.”
Ravenwood held the Cougars to just 15-of-65 shooting from the field, including an ice-cold 4-of-21 (19%) from the three-point arc, stretching the lead to 65-34 with less than six minutes to play.
“Centennial is much improved over last year.  Seeing them on tape I expect them to be very competitive in the district this year.  They just didn’t play well tonight.”
The battle around the basket got intense at times when Ravenwood visited Centennial Tuesday night.  The Cougars' Zack Schrader leaps to block a Raptor shot as teammate Brandon Smith (22) tries to move Ravenwood's Van Jefferson (2) to be in position for the rebound.  Ravenwood won the District 11-AAA 67-49. Photo by Becky Williams 
Part of the Cougar’s shooting difficulties was due to an active and aggressive Ravenwood defense, including the work underneath of junior Chase Hawkins.
“He’s started for us earlier in the year and is making his way back from an injury.  He didn’t see much action last year because we were so senior laden.  Tonight was one of his better efforts.”
The Cougars were lead in scoring, unofficially, by Zack Schrader with 12 and Bruer Atkinson with ten.
The win puts Ravenwood on a collision course with Independence Thursday night in Thompson Station, a game rescheduled due to weather last week. The contest could decide the pre-Christmas front runner to challenge pre-season favorite Brentwood.
“You just don’t know how this is going to shake out.  There is not a lot of separation between two and seven.  It’s a road game and in eight years we’ve won at Independence once, so we’re just going to go down there and try to get a win.”
The girls’ game turned into a barn burner in the final four minutes.  Tied at 36 with less than four minutes to play, Alessandra Young pounded home a put-back three footer, then sank the free throw after being fouled in the attempt to put the Cougars up 39-36.  Three minutes later Trecie Walker found Young on a perfect fast break pass with 21-seconds on the clock to seal the win, 47-45 for Centennial.
The victory was the first for new head coach Tony Hill and gives Centennial a share of the district lead for the first time in nearly a decade.

Posted on: 12/11/2013


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