BRENTWOOD – Nick Dang and Noah Clifford combined for 31 points and the Ravenwood High School boys basketball team held visiting Independence to just six second-quarter points as the Raptors won the “Battle of the Birds.”
The visiting Eagles took an early 5-2 lead in the first three minutes, but Ravenwood answered with a 26-11 run to close the first half. Independence kept chipping away in the second half and closed the gap to four, 49-45, with four minutes to play. But Clifford stepped out of the post to nail a 3-pointer and then broke free for a one-handed dunk to stretch the lead back to nine and put an end to the Indy comeback.
“We played really well defensively in the first half. We had some lapses in the second half and we’re not very happy about that,” said Ravenwood coach Patrick Whitlock. “But overall, we are happy to get out of that game with a win.
"It’s 11-AAA basketball and nothing is easy.”
Clifford finished with 15-points, while the senior guard Dang led his team with 16 points, including a couple of key baskets late.
Independence got a strong game from freshman Jett Montgomery, especially at the start of the frenzied fourth quarter. Montgomery, who led all scorers with 19 points, got help from Cameron Bell (10 points) and River Katina (8 points) in the comeback effort that fell short.
Eagles coach Doug Keil was both disappointed and pleased with the performance.
“We did struggle shooting the basketball but give Ravenwood a lot of credit," he said. "They played fast and they played hard and we didn’t to start the game.
“I liked the way we fought in the second half; we just couldn’t close the door.”
The loss leaves Independence in the middle of a very volatile district race. The Eagles fell 84-78 in the first meeting in Thompson's Station on Dec. 1. With the win, Ravenwood is set on a collision course with Franklin Friday night on Hillsboro Road that could well be a battle for the lead in the district race.
The Admirals picked up a crucial 46-44 win at Brentwood Tuesday.
Whitlock says his plan is simple.
“We just want to get a little bit better each day and we’re going to have to get a lot better by Friday because it’s going to take our best effort to beat Franklin,” he said.
Ravenwood girls 60, Independence 28
Reghan Grimes ruled the roost for the Lady Raptors scoring 30 points and claiming dominion in the paint as Ravenwood topped a scrappy Independence girls’ squad 60-28 Tuesday night in the early game.
The Lady Raptors raced to a 19-2 lead after eight minutes, led by Grimes’ nine markers tallied from the paint, the free throw line and behind the 3-point arc.
Mary Prestegaard added 11 for Ravenwood, while Ryan Brown had six to lead Independence.
Ravenwood travels to Franklin Friday night while Independence goes to Page.
Ravenwood boys 60, Independence 47
IHS 10 6 16 15 – 47
RHS 16 12 14 18 – 60
IHS (47) – Jett Montgomery 19, Cameron Bell 10, River Katina 8, Sam Womack 7, Owen Ries 3.
RHS (60) – Nick Dang 16, Noah Clifford 15, Ben Bonga 9, Jake Mulder 8, Matt Williams 7, Andrew Lamuno 3, Myles Pollard 2.
3-pointers – IHS 5 (Montgomery 3, Womack, Ries), RHS 3 (Dang 2, Clifford). Total Fouls – IHS 6, RHS 8. Fouled Out – None.
Ravenwood girls 60, Independence 28
IHS 2 9 5 12 – 28
RHS 19 15 15 11 – 60
IHS (28) – Ryan Brown 6, Jayla Miller 5, Leah Oubre 5, Chase Bethmann 5, Christy Martinez 5, Evy Nichols 2.
RHS (60) – Reghan Grimes 30, Mary Pretegaard 11, Natalie Prestegaard 6, Elizabeth Flynn 4, Rachel Hillman 3, Ava Lavigne 3, Ramer 3.
3-pointers – IHS 1 (Oubre), RHS 6 (Grimes 2, N. Prestegaard, Hillman, Lavigne, Ramer). Total Fouls – IHS 10, RHS 13. Fouled Out – None.