Ravenwood boys and girls keep district pace with wins over Centennial
By Joe Williams, Sports Editor
District 11-AAA basketball is always a bit crazy. Just ask Ravenwood head coach Patrick Whitlock, who watched his Raptors (15-9, 7-2 District 11-AAA) race out to a 10-point lead in the first quarter, only to squander it away in the second before pulling away from a very game Centennial (7-12, 2-7) squad 64-51 last night on Wilson Pike.
“Centennial is a good team with a lot of heart and we knew they weren’t going to just pack it in,” he said when asked about the second quarter run. “There is no ‘gimme’ in District 11 (AAA) basketball and certainly not with Centennial. They are much improved over last year.”
The Raptors raced out to a 20-10 lead after eight minutes behind the scoring of Chase Hawkins and Van Jefferson. But the Cougars responded, led by Kevon Prince off the bench. Prince drained all three of his second quarter shots to claim seven of team high 15 points for the game while Tyrel Dodson and David Draper cleaned the offensive boards and scored four each.
The Cougars controlled the ball with 1:02 left in the half, trailing 27-26, but an untimely turnover led to a Ravenwood basket and the Raptors went to the locker room with a 31-28 lead. After the break, Centennial kept the contest close, but could never gain a lead.
Matthew Hailey got off to a slow start for Ravenwood, but recovered to lead all scorers with 23 points.
“I was more impressed with his defense tonight than his offense” said Whitlock of the senior. “He didn’t play very defensively Saturday (a 79-77 loss to Sycamore) and we kind of let him have it and he responded. We know he’s capable of playing defense, he just doesn’t always do it.”
Hailey did get offensive assistance from several teammates. Nick Gleason had 16 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter when he was a perfect three-of-three from the floor and five-of-five from the line. Chase Hawkins added 15 on the night, sweeping the offensive boards for six in the first quarter.
Centennial showed flashes of expecting the upset, badgering the Raptors defensively for most of the game. On the other end of the floor, the Cougars struggled shooting, hitting only 20-of-53 from the floor, including 7-of-20 from three-point range. Many of the shots inside the arc were 16-18 footers where shot selection was not in their favor, leaving them 13-of-33 on the night.
Even with the struggles, Prince totaled 15 points while Dodson (12) and guard Josh Keller (11) combined for 23 points on a combined nine-of-twenty-nine shooting.
Ravenwood now prepares for a trip to arch rival Brentwood Friday night. Centennial will host Glencliff Thursday night before getting a visit from Independence on Friday night.
In girls action, Ravenwood (8-12, 5-4) remained in sole possession of fourth place in District 11-AAA with a draining 47-35 win over Centennial (8-13, 1-7).
The Raptors opened up a 12 point lead in the second and third quarters after being tied at the end of the first. Alexis Ahlert controlled the inside for most of the night, tallying 18 points to lead all scorers. Emmy Allen added 13.
Jordan Johnson, Centennial’s leading scorer all season, was held to just nine points before fouling out with nearly four minutes left in the game. There were 37 fouls called in the game (Ravenwood 19, Centennial 18) and 51 free throws attempted.
Posted on: 1/28/2014