BY JAKE DONOVAN
The Centennial Cougars were able to maintain pace in a competitive District 11-AAA bracket, turning away the Ravenwood Raptors in a 59-39 home win on Friday.
Junior point guard Tre Carlton led hosting Centennial and all scorers with 17 points, one of 11 Cougars to score on the night.
Chase Siebert scored a team-high 12 for the visiting Raptors, who struggled all night with Centennial’s traditionally stingy defense.
The offense was slow out the gate, with Ravenwood leading 11-10 at the end of the opening quarter. Centennial’s shooters woke up in the second quarter, hitting four three-pointers in that stretch including a pair from post player Andrew Ellison (10 points) to give the Cougars a 32-18 lead heading into halftime.
Ravenwood fought back coming out of the break, but were only able to keep stride with Centennial, whose second half surge kept them ahead for the rest of the night.
Siebert connected on a pair of threes but was no match for Centennial’s tough junior scoring duo of Carlton and Dusty Williams (8 points). The two combined for 13 of the Cougars’ 16 points on the quarter.
It was enough to keep Centennial ahead, relying upon strong defense in the final eight minutes to advance to 5-3 in district play. They remain the only team in 11-AAA to defeat district leading Franklin, scoring a buzzer-beating 62-60 win over their crosstown rivals in their mid-December thriller.
The warning shot was only enough to remain in the middle of the pack. At 5-3, Centennial is on the wrong end of a tiebreaker with Dickson County, but with a chance to make up ground heading into the second half of the season. The Cougars return to the court on Tuesday, traveling to the other side of Franklin for an away game versus Page on Tuesday.
Ravenwood falls to 3-5 in district play but open the second half of their district schedule with a Tuesday home game versus Independence. The Raptors prevailed in a 52-44 win over the Eagles in their district season opener in November.
While the Cougars’ boys squad was able to close out the first half of district play on a high note, it was a far too familiar tale for the Lady Cougars who suffered a 68-22 loss to a Ravenwood Lady Raptors team back at full strength.
Lexi Erickson led Ravenwood (4-4) all scorers—and singlehandedly outscored Centennial—with 23 on the night. Junior swing Jaz Harmon added 14 in her return to the court, with the Alabama-Birmingham commit sitting out Tuesday’s loss to district leading Page.
Centennial (1-7)—who are without seniors Ashlan Hardin (injury) and Malea Robertson (personal) for the remainder of the season—received point production from seven different players, but none reaching double figures. Samantha Lein led the Lady Cougars with 6 points, while senior Constance Bledsoe added 5 points.
The Lady Raptors begin the second half of their district schedule with a Tuesday home game versus Independence. Ravenwood bested the Lady Eagles 51-24 on the road in their November district season opener.
The Lady Cougars will face district leading powerhouse Page (7-1) on Tuesday. The two teams met in their district season opener, with the Lady Patriots storming to a 70-30 win.