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Ravenwood stays unbeaten with hard fought win at Franklin

Tanner Spalding (32) elevates for two of his six points Tuesday night in Franklin's 50-45 loss to Ravenwood. Watching the shot are Ravenwood's Case Bouldin (30) and Brad Neuhaus (23) along with Franklin's Zach Muir (2). Photo by Becky Williams 
Garrison Mathews (24) and teammate Joe Critchlow find themselves airborne as Ravenwood's Nick Gleason drives for the hoop in the Raptors' 50-45 victory  Tuesday night. Photo by Becky Williams 
Ravenwood hit both ends of three of one-and-one opportunities in the final 1:19 to beat Franklin last night 50-45, keeping the Raptors undefeated in District 11-AAA play.
“This win is huge,” said Ravenwood head coach Patrick Whitlock after Chase Bouldin hit four and Matthew Hailey two from the free throw line.  
“We don’t win here very often so I’m glad to put some distance between us and what I consider to be the second best team in our district.”
Ravenwood raced to an early lead as Chase Hawkins gathered 12 of his 15 points on perfect shooting in the first half.  But Franklin kept chipping away, spreading the scoring around amongst Joe Critchlow, Tanner Spalding and others, to take a 25-20 lead into the locker room at half.
The Rebels stretched the lead to seven in the third quarter before the Raptors’ Hailey and Nick Gleason shot Ravenwood back into the contest, returning the lead to Ravenwood 36-35 at the end of three.  But Franklin kept fighting back, led by Garrison Mathews, who scored 11 of his team high 13 points in the second half.  His thundering dunk, which awoke the Franklin student section, gave the Rebels the lead again at 41-40 with just over four minutes left in the game.
“That’s just what a Jamie Wilson coached team is going to do,” said Whitlock of the Rebels constant comebacks.  “His teams at Harpeth always played with that kind of tenacity.  They never give up and they are going to be a major player in this district race.”
For Wilson, it was another game that came close, but not close enough as the Rebels fight to get over the hump of close and into the category of winning.
“We’ve got to learn to win these close ballgames,” he said after meeting with his team.  “We’ve been in several of them this year…we’ve got to find a way to execute down the stretch and give ourselves a chance to win the ballgame.”
The difference in the contest came at the free throw line, where the Raptors made 12-of-16 attempts in nine trips to the line, while Franklin made only 3-of-8 in four stops.
“It’s a big deal,” said Wilson.  “We talked about it.  We’ve got to be stronger in the paint and quick going away from contact.  We need to be at the foul line 15-20 times per game.  We’re not getting there.”
Ravenwood’s Hailey led all scorers with 18 to go with Hawkins’ 15.  For the Rebels, Mathews was the only player in double figures.  Critchlow finished with nine.
Ravenwood returns home Friday night to host Brentwood in a showdown for the District 11-AAA lead.  Both teams are undefeated headed into the first Battle of the ‘Woods for 2014.
On the girls’ side, Franklin had a better finish, defeating Ravenwood 45-35.  The Rebels led by ten at the half and nearly doubled that number in the second half before Ravenwood closed the gap.  The comeback did not please Franklin head coach Kari Goodwin.
“I was a little bit disappointed I had to put my starting five back in.  Our second group has got to get it done.  We were up 15 or 16 with four minutes left to play and we let them close to ten.  You want that second group to do well, but we just couldn’t get it done.”
Anna Patton scored 17 and Angela McPeek added 15 in the win.  Emmy Allen topped the Raptors’ score sheet with 11.
The win sets up a key game for the Rebels Friday at home against Summit as Franklin will be looking to hold on to the second spot in the district standings.

Franklin's Mac McDonald drives for the baseline with Ravenwood's Nate Fishbach in hot pursuit.  Fishbach and the Raptor's won a key District 11-AAA contest 50-45 at Franklin Tuesday night. Photo by Becky Williams

Posted on: 1/8/2014


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