By CHIP CIRILLO | Photos by STEVE WHEELER
A defensive adjustment fueled a second-half rally for Ravenwood.
The Lady Raptors switched to a triangle-and-two defense to contain Centennial’s top two scorers in the second half of Ravenwood’s 58-34 win on Thursday night.
Ravenwood (11-6, 5-3 District 11-AAA) trailed 25-24 at halftime before taking charge with a 15-3 run to open the third quarter.
Centennial’s Malea Robertson scored 18 points in the first half, but the junior guard was held to two in the last two quarters.
Lady Cougars senior Shanell Flye, who entered the game with a 12.5 scoring average, was shut out by the hosts.
“The triangle two on our two scorers: that was the whole game,” Centennial coach Brad Simmons said. “They did it when our post player (Ashland Hardin) went out with four fouls. If we get in foul trouble, we’re in trouble, so that was a killer.”
Sophomore guard Jazmyn Harmon, one of 14 new players on the Lady Raptors’ roster, led Ravenwood with 17 points.
Senior guard Kierra Downey, Ravenwood’s career scoring leader with 1,611 points, added 15. Another senior guard, Berkley Byron, scored 14.
“It just brought energy, making the other girls shoot the ball,” Downey said of the triangle and two. “Taking the ball away from their main three players and making other girls have to beat us. So, that gave them trouble and it was probably good for us.”
Ravenwood was also trying to contain Hardin, who scored nine points.
Centennial (6-10, 1-7) took a 17-5 lead in the first quarter before Ravenwood started mounting a comeback.
The Lady Cougars led 25-19 late in the second quarter when Hardin was hit with a technical foul for slamming the basketball on the court.
Things started to unravel from there and Ravenwood trimmed Centennial’s lead to one by halftime.
“It started from the defensive end, knowing where we should be and what we should be doing,” Ravenwood coach Mariska Harris said. “Their key players, focusing in on that. Creating our offense through our defense and then that gave us confidence on the offensive end.”
Ravenwood is fourth in the district behind first-place Dickson County, second-place Brentwood and third-place Franklin. Centennial, which tied Franklin for second last season, is eighth.
“This district is tough,” Harris said. “This is probably, since I’ve been here in my career, the toughest from top to bottom our district has been, and I told my girls it’s going to be a dogfight every night.”
Centennial hosts Page on Tuesday.
Ravenwood visits Independence on Tuesday.