FRANKLIN, Tenn.—David Windley carried Brentwood in the first half, Jack Thurman carried the Bruins late, and Preston Moore added two huge plays in between, leading Brentwood to a 77-76 victory in the 11-AAA boys’ tournament championship final on the Franklin High School campus on Tuesday evening.
Thurman scored 32, Windley had 22, and Moore, 12, for the Bruins, who avenged a home loss to Centennial on Senior Night just two Fridays ago. Windley was 8-of-12 from the floor with five 3-pointers, Thurman was 8-for-14, and the Bruins shot 64 percent from the field. Moore added three steals for Brentwood.
Brentwood took an early four-point lead in overtime thanks to 3-pointers from John Windley and Thurman, and never trailed in the extra period.
Thurman hit a pair of foul shots with 8.2 seconds left to seal Brentwood’s victory, and took home tournament Most Valuable Player honors. He was joined on the all-tournament team by teammates David Windley and Harry Lackey.
It was quite the comeback after the Bruins had been down a dozen earlier.
“We knew we had to turn it around, quick, and get back in the game,” Thurman said. “We used some plays as our momentum and got back in the game.”
The Cougars, playing without fouled-out point guard Tre Carlton, had trouble matching Centennial’s scoring prowess in the extra period. Between that and the Cougars riding their key players without a lot of rest, coach Pete Froedden felt his team got tired late.
“(Brentwood) had 56 in the second half and overtime, and that’s too many points for us (to give up). We try to hold people to 10 points or less in a quarter. … We didn’t stop them when we needed stops, and that’s a credit to (Brentwood’s) resolve. Our guys have got to learn from it.”
Centennial was led in scoring by Asharri Haynesworth (23), Dusty Williams (25) and Carlton (12). Haynesworth added 11 rebounds and three steals and was 10-of-15 from the floor. The three made the all-tournament team as well.
The Cougars maintained a lead almost the entire evening, but Brentwood made a run late in the third quarter that carried over into the fourth.
And finally, the Bruins broke through.
Moore hit a 3 from straight away and was knocked to the floor. The junior point guard hit the free throw, putting Brentwood up, 60-59, with 1:09 to play. That marked the Bruins’ first lead since an 8-7 advantage in the first quarter.
“In the first half, ‘slacking’ was an understatement. I came out in the second half and I knew I had to do something positive,” Moore said.
Centennial’s Williams then missed a 3 from the left side, and the Cougars’ Carlton fouled out trying to reach around Moore with 36.8 left.
After Moore hit one, Haynesworth saw a contested lay-up spin out, then, the junior fouled Thurman with 22.1 left.
Thurman hit one of two shots, setting up a dramatic regulation finish.
The Cougars threw the ball in from the left baseline to Haynesworth out high. Centennial’s junior dribbled right around defenders, and then banked in a 3 with 0.5 left to tie things at 62.
“I just put it up there, and I knew it was going to go in,” Haynesworth said.
“We actually drew it up for him,” Froedden said. “Not for him to shoot it from there, but for a little pinch screen in the corner, because everybody’s running to Dusty, and we just hoped he could get a clean look. He actually got a clean look, he just decided he wanted to bank it in.”
But Centennial never led in overtime.
“Our offense was there, we’ve just got to finish on the defensive side,” Williams said.
The Cougars led at 11 near the end of the third quarter after Carlton drove the left side, hit a lay-up and converted a foul shot.
Brentwood bounced back, hitting a pair of short field goals before Thurman converted two free throws with 0.5 seconds left in the quarter.
Carlton hit a driving lay-up at the start of the fourth to push the lead back to eight.
But again, Brentwood wouldn’t go away. Moore hit a high, arching runner in the lane, then drove and popped a mid-range jumper to cut it to 50-48.
Centennial played with passion and intensity from tipoff, and led 31-21 at half.
Centennial’s tight man-to-man defense gave Brentwood fits early. The Cougars scored the first five points, and Haynesworth had three steals before the Bruins notched a point.
The Cougars led 10-8 at the end of the first quarter, with Windley accounting for every Bruin point.
Brentwood cut the lead to a point on three occasions in the second quarter, the last being Thurman’s pull-up from about a dozen feet on the left baseline to make it 22-21.
But Centennial scored the last nine points of the half. That included a Haynesworth 3 and Hayden Pearson’s drive in traffic through the middle of the lane, where he hit a contested layup about a second before the halftime buzzer.
Haynesworth’s 11 led all scorers at half, with Williams (10) and Carlton (eight) close behind.
Thurman paced Brentwood with 10 at half, all coming in the second quarter.
All-tournament, all-district teams announced
The all-tournament team also included Franklin’s Reese Glover and Evan Sigler.
The all-district team, announced after the game, also included Thurman, Lackey, Windley, Carlton, Haynesworth, Sigler and Glover, as well as Franklin’s Jack Patton.
Independence’s Mac James, Page’s Jack Emerson, Ravenwood’s Jalen Smallwood, Spring Hill’s Justin Oden and Summit’s Demontay Dickson and Jaden Lewis were also announced as all-district picks.
Glover was named the district MVP.
Franklin’s Darrin Jones was selected the district Coach of the Year.