Late-game Heroics Help Ravenwood Advance Over Centennial
By: Jordan Binkley
MTN Sports Reporter
SPRING HILL, Tenn. — Centennial boy's basketball comes up short against Ravenwood 60-58 after a game-winning shot from Lee Molette Saturday at Summit high school.
Saturday was the start of the Region 6AAAA tournament for middle Tennessee's high school basketball teams. Coming into the game, Centennial (15-11, 2-3) was poised to secure their second straight win over Ravenwood (21-9, 6-3) in two weeks. However, the Raptors were looking for revenge.
Centennial's forward Devon Reed tied up the game 58-58 with a clutch shot from behind the arc with nine seconds left in regulation, but Ravenwood still had gas left in the tank. The Raptors inbounded the ball, drove it up the court, and Lee Molette sank the game-winning shot with two seconds left.
"They are going to compete to that final horn," said Centennial coach Jeremy Moore. "We kept fighting, and we kept competing; With two seconds left, we had a chance to tie the game or win the game, and I think that is all you can ask for."
The Cougar's leading scorers were Tanner Lee and Devon Reed; both finished with 14 points for the game. Lee's 3-point shooting in the second half played a pivotal role in shifting momentum for the Cougars.
"The team just gave me open looks," Lee said. "We set up good screens, and coach came up with a good game plan."
In the first quarter, defense reigned supreme as both teams struggled to score. Each group held the other to under 10 points by the end of the period, and Ravenwood only sustained a 9-4 lead.
By the second quarter, Ravenwood picked up their offensive production and led by double digits for most of the period. Shots were falling left and right for the Raptors, but the Cougars eventually cut the lead to single digits, with the halftime score being 28-19.
After halftime, the Cougar's defense picked up the pace, forced Ravenwood into multiple contested shots, and eventually cut the lead to 43-41, heading in the fourth. Lee's key 3-pointers helped Centennial get their mojo back, and things looked bright for the Cougars going into the fourth quarter.
Once the fourth quarter came around, the Cougars seemed poised to win after knocking down multiple shots; however, clutch free throws from Ravenwood's 6'6" forward Jake Mulder helped keep the Raptors in the game.
Late in the fourth, Centennial's Reed seemed to have won the game with a 3-pointer with nine seconds left. However, Molette's late-game heroics cut the Cougar's fairytale ending short.
As the clock was winding down, guard DJ Starr took the ball down the court and found Molette in the left corner. Molette caught the ball, spun off the defender, and hit a 15-foot floater with two seconds left.
Centennial got another chance to inbound the ball, but the pass ended up sailing out of bounds as the Cougars fell to the Raptors 60-58.
With the win, Ravenwood advances to the second round of the Region 6AAAA tournament and will take on the Franklin Admirals. The game will take place Tuesday, March 1, at 6:00 p.m. at Summit high school.