Bruins fall one win shy of state title game
By Marcus Stone, Sports Editor
Basketball season came to an end for Williamson County Friday as Brentwood lost to Southwind 54-32 in the Class AAA BlueCross Basketball Championship semifinals.
Trailing only by a score of 21-17 at halftime, Brentwood went cold in the third quarter as the Jaguars jumped to a 14-2 run through the period’s first seven minutes.
“We executed the game plan almost (perfectly) in the first half,” Brentwood coach Dennis King said. “Shorten the game, spread them out, slow it down and clog up the middle. It started getting away when we weren’t hitting our shots.”
The Bruins were able to keep the contest at their pace in the first 16 minutes, controlling possession and forcing Southwind into long defensive sets.
Brentwood’s average scoring possession during that time was 45 seconds. In comparison, Southwind’s aggressive style of play saw their number at 11 seconds.
“We did what we wanted in the first half,” senior Asa Duvall said. “Came out in the second half and couldn’t hit shots. Their athleticism and height kind of overpowered us.”
Once trailing by double-digits, Brentwood was forced into playing a more up-tempo style of play. While they were able to cut the deficit to nine on two James McPherson free throws at the 5:15 mark of the fourth quarter, Southwind capitalized on missed shots and fast break opportunities throughout the second half to widen the margin.
“We’re not going to win this game with second shots,” King said. “All my coaches were yelling: “Crash the boards”. It’s almost – I’d rather you get back (on defense).”
After being held to two points in the first half, 6-foot-9 University of Missouri signee Jonathan Williams began to overpower Bruin defenders in the final 16 minutes. He finished the game with 17 points, eight rebounds, two blocks, and two steals.
Juniors Andy Schumpert and Jacob Adcock shared the responsibility of guarding Williams and praised his abilities after the game.
“He’s a great player,” Schumpert said. “He has great size, great hands, athletic. He makes great post moves and can shoot from 15 feet or so.”
Adding to the inside threat of Williams, Jajuan Johnson – a signee to Marquette – had a game-high 18 points thanks to four 3-pointers.
“These guys are probably the top in the state as far as talent, size, and athleticism,” said Schumpert. “Blackman kind of gave us a taste of that, but those guys are on a whole other level.”
Jack Bautista kept Brentwood in the game early, knocking down two first-quarter 3-pointers.
At halftime, the Bruins felt they were in good position to eliminate a top seed in the tournament, like they did March 13 to Blackman.
“We thought we were right where we wanted to be,” Bautista said. “Just hit a couple more shots and we would’ve been in it.”
Those shots did not fall for Brentwood though as they cooled from 3-point range. Making 3-of-9 from behind the arc in the first half, the Bruins only connected on 1-of-11 in the final two quarters as Southwind’s size, athleticism, and unconventional defense stopped Brentwood from scoring on their typical sets and quick hitters.
Schumpert and Bautista each had a team-high 10 points for Brentwood.
The Bruins end the season with a school record 30 wins and their first appearance in a boys state tournament. They return four starters next season.
Posted on: 3/15/2013