BRENTWOOD — The senior night festivities came early this year for the Ravenwood High School girls basketball team.
Still, the Lady Raptors were obviously ready for it.
Propelled by their pressure defense, Ravenwood put together a dominating second-quarter effort to take control of Friday’s game against Franklin, and the Lady Raptors sailed home from there for a 47-24 victory in the District 11-AAA contest.
Reghan Grimes scored 14 points to lead a balanced attack for the Lady Raptors, who outscored Franklin 17-1 in the second quarter while flipping a 12-10 deficit into a 27-13 halftime lead.
Ravenwood senior point guard Lexi Erickson finished with 10 points and fellow senior Rachel Hillman had eight to help the Lady Raptors extend their early-season surge. They’ve opened the year with six wins in their first seven games.
Ravenwood has seven seniors on the roster, and they were recognized and honored during Friday night’s ceremonies. Although senior night is normally reserved for late in the season, Ravenwood officials made the call to move it up this year in fear that the back half of the season could be interrupted — or perhaps even canceled — due to COVID-19 safety maneuvers.
Ravenwood head coach Andrew James said his team’s performance wasn’t perfect, but said he was pleased with the victory, especially for his seniors.
“It always make Senior Night better when you get to celebrate with a win,” said James. “We have seven great seniors that are doing a great job of leading us, and it was good to see them get a win tonight.”
The Lady Raptors struggled offensively in the game’s opening eight minutes, but then used their defense to create offense in the second quarter. Erickson opened the quarter with a 3-pointer to give Ravenwood its first lead of the night, 13-12, and it sparked a 15-0 run by the Lady Raptors. Hillman scored five points to help fuel the surge, including knocking down a 3-pointer, and Grimes delivered perhaps the most memorable play of the night when she scored on a terrific spin move to finish off a fast break.
The 15-0 run enabled Ravenwood to take control with a 25-12 lead, and the Lady Raptors maintained a double-digit advantage the rest of the way.
Hillman said she and her teammates were confident that the offense would find a groove if the Lady Raptors were able to increase the game’s tempo.
“We started out slow tonight, and a lot of our shots weren’t falling,” Hillman said. “But we knew if we picked it on defense and started playing more of our game — and scoring more in transition — that would get us going.”
Grimes was the catalyst for Ravenwood, controlling the paint on offense and dominating the boards on both ends.
James said Grimes has been in high gear since the start of the season.
“Reghan is just killing it right now,” said James. “She does so many things for us, and you saw that tonight.”
Brenna Swiger scored seven points to lead Franklin, and Regina Hammond had six.
Franklin head coach Jay Johnson said his young team played well in spurts, but is still searching for consistency.
“We’ve got to cut our turnovers in half,” said Johnson. “We are having about twice as many as we need to have, and as coaches, we’ve got to figure out a better of way of making sure that we take care of the basketball.”
Johnson said the young Lady Admirals are getting plenty of on-the-job-training because their usual summer workouts were essentially wiped out by the pandemic.
BRENTWOOD — The Ravenwood High School boys basketball team used a series of long-range shots…
“We only have six girls who got experience playing last season — and even that was limited,” he said. “So, we have a lot of freshmen playing a lot of meaningful minutes. And I said this summer, if there was ever a team that needed to have 10 days with three games each day at summer camp, it was us. But since we didn’t have that, we are now getting experience on the fly.
"Hopefully, we are team that will get better and better as we go along, and will be playing our best basketball in February.”
Ravenwood girls 47, Franklin 24
Franklin 12 1 8 3 — 24
Ravenwood 10 17 13 7 — 47
FRANKLIN (24) – Brenna Swiger 7, Regina Hammond 6, Jo Grey 1, Jean Costello 3, Kate O’Neil 2, Dylann Garner 3, Lydia 2.
RAVENWOOD (48) – Lexi Erickson 10, Rachel Hillman 8, Elizabeth Flynn 4, Mary Prestegaard 3, Ava Lavigne 6, Natalie Prestegaard 2, Regan Grimes 14.
3-pointers — Franklin 3 (Hammond 2, Costello 1), Ravenwood 2 (Erickson 1, Hillman 1).
Free throws — Franklin 7-13, Ravenwood 3-6.