By CHIP CIRILLO | Photos by STEVE WHEELER
Ravenwood’s student section started chanting, “choke, choke, choke” when Jacob McGraw stepped up to the free-throw line with 30.1 seconds left.
He did anything but.
The junior guard hit two foul shots – one for the tie and the other for the go-ahead point – in Franklin’s 59-55 comeback win over visiting Ravenwood on Tuesday night.
“I just had a feeling that I was going to hit them and I didn’t want to let my team down,” McGraw said. “You can hear (the chanting), but you just put it in the back of your mind. You can’t let it get into your head.”
Evan Sigler added two foul shots and Avery Jones made one during the final 13 seconds to seal the win for the Rebels (6-2, 1-1 District 11-AAA).
Franklin made two crucial steals during the final 30 seconds.
“The role players – I always think – make a team,” Rebels coach Darrin Joines said. “A lot of people, especially in high school, have one or two that are pretty good. I think we’ve got three that are pretty special. Those are the things that win games.”
Franklin rallied from a five-point deficit with two minutes left.
“Playing against a team like Ravenwood, it feels like 15 because they take care of the ball,” Joines said of the five-point lead. “I mean, we’re working hard on defense just to make them a little uncomfortable. They really move the ball well.”
Reese Glover led the Rebels with a season-high 37 points, including seven 3-pointers.
“Glover is obviously a phenomenal player,” Raptors coach Patrick Whitlock said. “Some of those shots, there’s just nothing you can do with and he’s got some good pieces around him. You get a hand in his face and he still knocks down the shot, so it’s pretty difficult.”
Whitlock said the junior guard is the type of player who can make a bad shot look good.
“He can probably fill it up in our gym from here, so that’s just the way it goes,” Whitlock said. “He’s a creator. He’s not really a spot-up shooter. He creates his own shot and that’s a gift that I’m sure a lot of college teams will be very fortunate to have in a year or two.”
Whitlock thought Ravenwood (4-3, 1-1) played great defense on Glover, but he still had a big scoring night.
Four Raptors scored in double figures: Connor Tudeen 14 points, Brennan Mickelson 12, Waggs Greer 11 and Jaden Smallwood 10.
Tudeen and Mickelson both hit four 3-pointers.
Ravenwood visits Dickson County on Friday.
Franklin visits Page on Friday.