From a buzzer-beater to a rowdy crowd so loud it left your ears ringing, Friday night in Dickson County matched all the hype a pair of unbeaten District 11-AAA basketball teams might bring.
In fact, it tripled it.
The Brentwood boys grabbed the upper-hand out of the gate and somehow fended off the host Cougars 70-67 in triple overtime in a game not to be forgotten anytime soon.
The Bruins won their eighth consecutive contest and improved to 9-0 in district play to take over first place in the league, while handing Dickson County – the No. 8-ranked team in the state – just their second loss of the season.
“This was hands down the most fun basketball game that I've ever played in my life,” said Brentwood senior Evan Drennan, who closed with 13 points and eight rebounds. “I mean, three overtimes, put up 70 points, win by three. It was incredible. The atmosphere was amazing.”
Brentwood coach Greg Shirley called it one of the craziest games of his career. The Bruins headman is coming off his 300th win earlier this week.
“This has to go down as one of the most exciting basketball games, especially in the five years I've been here,” Bruins coach Greg Shirley said, also admitting that he’s simply tired after the nearly 2 1/2 hour marathon. “Both teams undefeated (in district); back and forth; both teams made plays. The district is so tough. So yeah, I'm just proud that we made one more play than they did.”
Before talking about the end of this one, one must begin at the start, because Brentwood took the air out of the packed Dickson County gymnasium after the Cougars scored the first basket of the game. Dickson County led 2-0 with 6:18 to play in the first frame and never led again.
Let that sink in.
In a triple overtime game where the Bruins lost the turnover battle 19-13, were outscored in the paint and in transition, and managed 14 fewer shots, they still only trailed once – at the very beginning of the game – while the contest was only tied four times with three of those knotted scores resulting in extra basketball.
Brentwood scored the next 12 points after Dickson County opened the scoring – thanks to back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers from sophomore Jake Brock – and held the upper hand for more than 33 minutes of game time. The other 9:40 or so, the game was tied.
“We gutted it out,” Brock said smiling.
Brentwood just played Brentwood ball in other words.
“We’ve been in this situation before, kind of at the Ravenwood game (a 60-53 overtime win), and we played in two big Franklin games … we’re used to it,” Bruins junior point guard Griffin Burke said. “We embrace it and just keep playing our game and stay focused.”
Burke added 11 points and five assists and carried most of the ball-handling duties against lightning-quick Dickson County defenders.
“When we keep playing in these big games, it builds our experience,” Brock added. “It’s fun. … We stayed together. We stayed poised. We're grateful to come out of here with a win.”
Brentwood has played in 12 games this season that have been decided by eight points or less, including two of the Bruins four losses. On Tuesday, they edged Franklin 51-48 on the road.
Friday’s game was loaded with huge moments and it appeared the home team was going to walk-off with the win following one of the biggest shots of the season after Brentwood threw away the inbound.
Trailing 55-53 with five seconds to play in regulation, Cade Purvine leaned into a buzzer-beater from near the top of the key sending the Dickson County faithful into a frenzy. Students, parents and anyone in else in orange flooded onto the floor from all angles to mob Purvine. The scoreboard even briefly read 56-55 seeming to be the game-winner, but in the midst of the chaos, officials were trying to signal that the shot was a deep 2-pointer, not a 3.
That’s how the first OT came about.
Dickson County again had the ball at the end of the first overtime, but this time Purvine’s brother Tucker had a 3-point attempt rim out at the buzzer after Brentwood turned the ball over tied 61-61.
Drennan powered in a layup plus the foul to break that tie in the second overtime. He converted the 3-point play and the Bruins had a 64-61 edge with two minutes to play. Less than 20 seconds after Drennan’s free throw, DJ Stacy sank a 3-pointer to tie the game, again.
Brock missed a triple from the wing and Cade Purvine stood near mid-court with the ball on his hip before Dickson County called timeout with 22 seconds remaining. The Cougars had three separate possessions in the overtime sessions where they burned more than 70 seconds. Brentwood’s zone defense, which they switched to in overtime, forced a rushed shot from the corner as time expired sending the game to triple OT.
Mirroring the second OT, the Cougars took more than 90 seconds before a backdoor cut was broken up by Brentwood’s Macen Redner. Drennan later scored on a jump hook from the block with 1:14 to play to make it 66-64 and give Brentwood the lead for good. Brock rebounded a Stacy miss and Burke hit two free throws for a 68-64 cushion with 31 seconds left.
The drama wasn’t quite over, though.
The Page basketball teams picked up a District 11-AAA sweep on Friday in Franklin.
Dickson County missed twice in one possession from 3-point territory before Aaron Walton secured the rebound, was fouled and went 1-of-2 at the line with 20 seconds remaining. Tucker Purvine answered with a 3-pointer with 13 ticks left to pull the home team within 69-67. Brock was fouled on the inbound and hit the first in the double bonus, but missed the second with 8.8 seconds to play. At the other end, Dickson County – down by three – moved the ball around the perimeter before Cade Purvine’s shot from the corner bounced out to finally end the game.
The Cougars moved to 16-2 overall and 8-1 in district play. Their only other loss came against Montgomery Bell Academy on Jan. 11.
Brentwood improved to 15-4 overall.
“I think we made our point and people respect Brentwood now,” said Drennan, whose team lost four of five starters from last year's state semifinal run. “It means a lot to be on top (of the district).”
The Bruins also ended a five-game road trip Friday. Seven of their final eight games are at home, including a Feb. 13 rematch against the Cougars.
“It’s just that kind of district,” added Shirley. “You got to bring your ‘A’ game every time.”
Brentwood boys 70, Dickson County 67, 3OT
BHS – 21 7 13 14 6 3 6 – 70
DCHS – 10 15 5 25 6 3 3 – 67
BHS (70) – John Windley 3-10 3-3 9, Griffin Burke 3-7 2-5 11, Jake Brock 6-10 3-4 20, Macen Redner 2-4 3-4 7, Evan Drennan 6-6 1-1 13, Carter Patton 0-1 0-0 0, Ben Caylor 0-0 0-0 0, Aaron Walton 2-4 4-6 8. Totals – 22-42 16-23 70.
DCHS (67) – Jett Carter 1-2 1-2 3, Cade Purvine 6-14 0-1 13, Winn Gramling 3-6 2-2 10, Jaden Davis 7-11 2-5 17, DJ Stacy 4-14 1-3 11, Jaquan Taylor 0-0 0-0 0, Brock Holley 0-0 0-0 0, Zade Holt 2-2 0-0 5, Tucker Purvine 3-7 0-0 8. Totals – 26-56 6-13 67.
3-pointers – BHS 10-20 (Brock 5-9, Burke 3-6, Redner 2-2); DCHS 9-25 (Gramling 2-4, T. Purvine 2-6, Stacy 2-7, Davis 1-2, C. Purvine 1-4). Rebounds – BHS 33 (Drennan 8, Redner 7, Windley 6); DCHS 29 (Gramling 10, C. Purvine 6). Assists – BHS 15 (Burke 5, Redner 4, Windley 3); DCHS 16 (C. Purvine 5, Gramling 4, Stacy 4). Steals – BHS 7 (Windley 3); DCHS 10 (C. Purvine 3, Davis 3). Turnovers – BHS 19; DCHS 13. Blocks – BHS 1 (Patton); DCHS 1 (C. Purvine). Total Fouls – BHS 13; DCHS 19. Fouled Out – Windley, Carter.