By CHIP CIRILLO | Photos by STEVE WHEELER
Brentwood and Summit were tied at 34 late in the third quarter.
Then, the Bruins turned to their man-to-man defense, closing with a 22-10 run in a 56-44 win over visiting Summit on Friday night.
“We had a couple of defensive stops in a row,” Bruins coach Greg Shirley said. “Everybody talks about offense. During that run, I thought we made a couple of very key defensive stops and we got good shots from the offense today.”
Brentwood (18-4, 10-1 District 11-AAA), ranked 10th in Class AAA, held onto first place in league play.
Point guard David Windley, a Washington (St. Louis) signee, led the Bruins with 18 points.
Harry Lackey and Jack Thurman added 12 each.
“It was lapses on both ends of the floor for us and they took advantage of it,” Summit coach Josh Goodwin said of the run. “Whether it’s us losing a guy on defense and them knocking down a shot, or us doing a good job defending and then not finishing the play with a rebound. Both ways, it was they’re making the right play and we’re making the mistake.”
Jaden Lewis led the Spartans with 15 points and 6-foot-10 Illinois State signee Demontay Dixon added 12.
“We just didn’t limit turnovers and value possessions,” Lewis said. “That was all our fault, letting the lead get away right there.”
Lackey made Dixon work for everything all night.
“There’s not a more talented wing, as far as what he does where he can actually step out and cover people on the perimeter and cover people in the block,” Shirley said. “And the same thing, truthfully, with Jack Thurman and David Windley. Demontay is a very talented young man.”
Summit sophomore George Odimegwu exited with a left shoulder injury with 1:07 left in the third quarter.
Summit and Centennial are tied for fourth in the district.
The Bruins visit second-place Franklin on Monday.
“Absolutely huge – two of the top teams in the district,” Windley said. “I’m not going to deny it. It’s huge for district standings, it’s huge for bragging rights, it’s huge for even our fans, who care a lot about us and beating those guys.”
Franklin, known for its 3-point shooting, takes a 12-game winning streak into the showdown.
“You’ve got to contest every single look,” Windley said. “Don’t let them get hot, because if they do they can go on a run quickly. So, it’s going to be all about defense and being smart with the ball on Monday.”
Franklin scorched Spring Hill with 20 baskets from 3-point range on Jan. 11.
The Bruins edged the Rebels 56-55 on Dec. 1.
Franklin is one of the few teams in Middle Tennessee that runs the 1-3-1 zone defense.
“They’re the only team in the district that runs it,” Windley said. “You’ve just got to find the holes in the zone, take your open looks and don’t hesitate because when you hesitate that’s when they get you with turnovers and things like that.”
Windley will try to keep the Bruins calm when the Rebels turn up the heat on defense.
“You can see his senior poise and savvy in the way he plays,” Goodwin said. “He plays the game in a slow-down fashion where nothing rattles him or causes him to panic. And that’s big for a team when they have somebody that can do that.”
Summit visits Spring Hill on Monday.
Brentwood visits Franklin on Monday.