STORY BY CHIP CIRILLO | PHOTOS BY DEB SCALLY
Brentwood’s leading scorer was out of the lineup, but it still found a way to win.
Jack Thurman (17 ppg) was missing for an undisclosed reason, but Cole Massey helped fill the void with 19 points, including five 3-pointers, in the Bruins’ 64-57 victory over visiting Ravenwood on Friday night.
“When one goes down, the next one steps up and we all did out part, and pulled it out,” Massey said. “Just started hitting, they kept giving me the ball, so I just kept shooting.”
Brentwood (20-5, 12-2 District 11-AAA) built a 15-point lead early in the fourth quarter before Ravenwood (8-13, 5-9) rallied to cut the deficit to five twice in the final 1:16 in front of a capacity crowd in the Battle of the Woods.
“A lot of respect for Ravenwood, a lot of respect for the (rivalry). It goes back way past high school days, back to when they were little kids,” Bruins coach Greg Shirley said of the rivalry between the schools from opposite sides of Brentwood. “And I thought we showed a lot of composure.”
Rex Gainer’s 3-pointer narrowed the deficit to 60-55 with 1:16 left, drawing a roar from the Raptors’ student section.
Joe McPherson hit 2 of 4 foul shots to expand Brentwood’s lead to seven before Sterling Craig’s layup cut it to 62-57 with 40 seconds left.
Brentwood’s John Windley and Preston Moore went 2 of 4 from the foul line during the final 27.4 seconds to finish the scoring.
“Our kids have been very resilient throughout the season,” Raptors coach Patrick Whitlock said. “We’ve had several games where we’ve been down and been able to fight back and make things happen. Tonight, we were really one more possession away from making that interesting, but we just couldn’t make it happen.”
Moore added 14 points for the Bruins and 6-foot-6 Harry Lackey had 11.
Brentwood extended its win streak to five games and Ravenwood lost for the fourth time in five games.
“The great thing about this team is it’s not built on one or two or three players, Shirley said. “I’ve got six or seven guys I can start at any time and I have a lot of confidence in each one of them.”
Craig led the Raptors with 23 points and Chase Siebert added 20, including three 3-pointers.
“It was a very physical game, but we didn’t back down,” Whitlock said. “We set the tone on the first play of the game that we weren’t going to be pushed around. We just want to keep focusing on the process.”
Brentwood remains second in the district behind Franklin (20-4, 11-1). Ravenwood fell to seventh behind Page (10-14, 6-8).
The Bruins swept the two-game regular-season series with the Raptors.
Ravenwood hosts Page on Tuesday.
Brentwood visits Centennial on Friday.