RALEIGH, N.C. – Madison Jones had the foresight to have the hindsight.
He knew that when he and his Ravenscroft (Raleigh, N.C.) teammates’ highly anticipated matchup against Wesleyan Christian (High Point, N.C.) ended in a comfortable eight-point win on Nov. 18, Wesleyan would have extra motivation the second time around, especially with the High School OT Holiday Invitational title on the line.
“It’s something that we talked about coming in,” Jones said. “We didn't want to look back and say we should've been more prepared. We knew that they would be ready to get us back, so we knew that we’d have to continue to play our game but also match their intensity.”
Ravenscroft used a second-half swarm of defensive pressure to knock off Wesleyan Christian 53-44 Friday at Broughton High School in Raleigh, N.C.
It was the Ravens’ second consecutive High School OT title.
Jaquel Richmond led Wesleyan with 23 points.
“We just came out and played our game,” said Gill, a Louisville commit who was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. “We really locked up defensively in the second half. That was the biggest difference from the first half. Their guards were knocking down shots early, but we made the adjustment.”
Early on it was the Trojans that adjusted.
After falling down 9-0, Wesleyan used the hot hand of Richmond to put together a 24-14 run and claim a 24-23 lead at the half.
Richmond scored 15 points and the Trojans drained 50 percent of their 3-pointers during the run.
“They have three great perimeter players and they were hitting shots with hands in their faces,” said Ravenscroft coach Kevin Billerman. “We were playing really well defensively, and I knew that if we just stayed aggressive on the defensive end, good things would happen.”
Billerman was right.
The Trojans shot just 28 percent in the third quarter and fell behind by as many as 10 points, a deficit they couldn’t find the firepower to recover from.
With the win the Ravens became just the third team in the tournament’s 40-year history to repeat as champs.
“Just to be a part of history is great,” Jones said. “We did it with the same team and that made it even more special.”