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High School Basketball

Hoops: Ravenwood falls short in 2nd half at explosive Cane Ridge

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Hoops – Ravenwood boys at Cane Ridge

Nick Dang 

ANTIOCH – Tuesday’s Region 6-AAA semifinal at Cane Ridge went how Ravenwood wanted for most of the first half. 

Brandon Miller and the Ravens flipped the script the rest of the way. 

Miller, 6-foot-7 junior and one of the nation’s most highly touted recruits, poured in 21 of his game-high 33 points after the half as Cane Ridge racked up 50 second-half points to blow past the Raptors and reach the Region 6-AAA championship. 

“They went on something like a 12-0 run to start the second half and we couldn’t really do anything to slow them down,” Raptors veteran coach Patrick Whitlock said. “Brandon Miller is the best player I have coached against in high school. 

“I’d have hated to see what that Cane Ridge team would be capable of if they had a full season.” 

The Ravens, who have been allowed to practice only since Feb. 1, improved to 11-0 in their COVID-19-shortened season. Even though local teams in Williamson County have endured adjustments this season because of the pandemic, they weren’t kept off the courts like Metro Nashville Public School teams were. 

Regardless, the Ravens advanced and will head to Franklin Thursday night for the region finale. Both Cane Ridge and the Admirals will represent in the Class AAA sectional round as well. The Ravens have scored 75 or more in all but one game and scored 80 or more on four occasions. 

Tuesday was Ravenwood’s fifth trip to the region semifinals and despite a solid start, it ended short of the school’s first shot at a region title once again. 

Noah Clifford scored nine of his 15 points in the first half and Connor English added two of his three 3-pointers in the second as the visiting Raptors kept pace early. 

Whitlock said his team maintained a strong effort into the second half, but simply “couldn’t score.” Cane Ridge outscored Ravenwood 27-12 in the third and 23-14 in the fourth. Miller netted 15 down the stretch and combined with Ryan Oliver to score 19 points in the third and lead the charge. 

“I really thought we could get to the state tournament with this group,” Whitlock said. “I know we are all thankful to even have a season and it’s been an hour to coach this group, but – not to be dramatic – but the end of the season is like a death in the family because you never get the opportunity to coach the same group again.” 

The Raptors challenged themselves early by playing in the NXT LVL tournament and facing the likes of Brentwood Academy and Siegel, among others. They rallied through District 11-AAA play and handed Franklin the Admirals only district setback. 

“We played a tough schedule and did well navigating in our district,” Whitlock said. “This was a great group to be around and I think they helped set us up for success in the future.” 

The Raptors closed the season with an 18-10 record. 

Cane Ridge boys 76, Ravenwood 46, Region 6-AAA Semifinal  

RHS 9 11 12 14 – 46 

CRHS 9 17 27 23 – 76 

RHS (46) – Matt Williams 3, Lee Molette 1, Nick Dang 5, Andrew Lamuno 2, Trevor Andrews 5, Ben Bonga 2, Connor English 9, Jake Mulder 2, Noah Clifford 15, Kevin Ready 2. 

CRHS (76) – Clarence Cobbins 2, Caleb Wilson 4, Ryan Oliver 15, Chris Hillsman 8, Lawrence 2, Brandon Miller 33, Nijal Turner 12. 

3-pointers – RHS 6 (English 3, Andrews, Clifford, Williams), CRHS 4 (Miller 3, Hillsman). Total Fouls – RHS 8, CRHS 14. Fouled Out – None.

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