Brentwood, Franklin boys in win or go home battles tonight
By Joe Williams, Sports Editor
One was expected, the other is a surprise. Both have only one thought on their mind for tonight: win, baby, win.
Brentwood and Franklin must win tonight to keep their seasons alive against the top two teams from Nashville in the regional semi-finals at Glencliff High School beginning at 6 p.m. Tonight’s two winners will meet for the regional title Thursday night; both advance to the sectional round Saturday. Winners Saturday advance to the state tournament in Murfreesboro.
Brentwood was expected to make the first game of the night against Cane Ridge. The Bruins are 28-2 and rolled through District 11-AAA with only a single loss to Ravenwood. Led by two-time district MVP Andy Schumpert (14.7 ppg) and all-district Jacob Adcock (10.5 ppg), the Bruins look to all-district guard Jalen Lawson to disperse the ball.
But their biggest advantage is the depth on the team. Grant Teichmann and James McPherson both average 9.8 points per game and three others average over seven-points a game. Head coach Dennis King can go all the way to the end of his bench and find help.
The Bruins beat Hillsboro 59-37 to advance to the semi’s.
Brentwood will face Cane Ridge, a team that won the regular season District 12-AAA title, but fell in the regional tournament to Hunters Lane. The Ravens (21-7) are not without their own weapons in D’Monte Evans (12.2 ppg, 44 3’s), DeMarco Churchwell (11.7 ppg) and Justin Campbell (10.7 ppg).
Cane Ridge beat Ravenwood 81-61 to advance.
Many consider Franklin the “Cinderella” of the tournament thus far. Sitting at 5-10 in early January, the Rebels (15-14) made a run late and started peaking during the district tournament.
Junior forward Garrison Mathews (14.6 ppg) has been the workhorse but Joe Critchlow (10.7 ppg) has come on strong since the Christmas break. Both were named to the all district team. Ben Hagaman (7.7 ppg) has regained his confidence underneath and is going to the basket with authority, something he will need to do tonight.
But points don’t tell the whole story and first year Coach Jamie Wilson has a full toolbox he can call on for assistance. Matt Hargreaves and Tanner Spalding bring some more muscle to the middle and will provide quality minutes. Zach Muir and Mac McDonald need big games in the back court to negate Hunters Lane’s quickness.
Franklin beat Hillwood in a nail biter, 57-53, to make the semis.
Hunters Lane, Franklin’s 7:45 p.m. opponent, is riding a seven game winning streak, by an average of almost 15 points per game. The Warriors will look to forward Kevaughn Russell (13.1 ppg) but their three guards, Austin Cary (12.2 ppg), Devine Howard (11.0 ppg) and Joshua Buckner (8.2 ppg) can all fill the basket from three-point range.
Hunters Lane beat Dickson County 65-43 to reach tonight’s contest.
Follow the Herald Sports Department on twitter (@whsports) for live updates. Live radio coverage is also being provided by WAKM-AM950 or on-line at www.wakmworldwide.com. Pregame coverage starts at 5:45 p.m. with Terry Merrell and Stormy Mitchell.
Posted on: 2/25/2014