Hey everyone, this is Nate Taylor, sports editor for the North Raleigh News and Midtown News. Welcome to one the biggest games here tonight at Broughton High tonight in the championship game of the Shavlik Randolph bracket of the GlaxoSmithKline Holiday Invitational. The spectators have come out for this title game between undefeated Middle Creek against a talented Ravenscroft team. We’ll have updates throughout the game on our Twitter account.
Final: Ravenscroft 57, Middle Creek 52
Ravenscroft did just enough to win this championship, their first ever at the Glaxo. Anton Gill was named the tournament’s MVP after a 16-point performance that also included guarding Middle Creek’s best scorer in guard Leon Hargrove. The Ravens didn’t make a lot of free throws late in this game, which allowed it to be close, but their defense remained solid in the final seconds to get a steal with five second to put the game out of reach.
Give credit to Middle Creek. They did a nice job after trailing by 18 points in the third quarter. The Mustangs were led by Hargrove’s 21 points.
Postgame quotes from Ravenscroft:
Coach Kevin Billerman on the Ravens’ defense:
“You can see our team is still growing. We started four seniors last year. This team played outstanding defense for 28 of the 32 minutes. We contain, I think, some of the quickest guards in the area who really want to attack the basket at all time.”
Guard Madison Jones on stealing the ball with 13 second left:
“We knew we had to switch in that situation because they needed a three. I just saw somebody drive at me, so I stepped out and knocked it away.”
Guard Anton Gill on the Ravens’ defense:
“I think at the end of the game, we really got in the passing lanes.”
Jones on the Ravens scoring fast-break points:
“Easy baskets are some of the best baskets. We love to run and we have athletic guys like Anton.”
Halftime: Ravenscroft 30, Middle Creek 21
Ravenscroft has done a really nice job of getting back on defense. It might seem like one of the small things needed to win a championship game, but the Ravens are shutting down Middle Creek’s offense.
The Ravens are led by guard Anton Gill, who has ran the floor well and is swishing open jumpers. He leads all players with nine points. Point guard Madison Jones has also done a good job of distributing the ball to his teammates. Offensive rebounding has been a difference too, as the Ravens have grabbed rebounds for second-chance points.
Middle Creek, who is known for being a running team, is finding it really difficult to get past a Ravenscorft defender. It will be interesting to see if the Mustangs will turn to a full-court press to try to induce turnovers.