Ravenscroft continued to be the kingpins of the TISAC (Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference) basketball world Saturday at Durham Academy, as both the boys and girls captured the conference tournament championships.
Both squads went undefeated in the regular season. The girls topped No. 2 seed Durham Academy 57-43 in the tournament finals, while the boys beat North Raleigh Christian, the third seed, 66-43.
In an unusual format, the semifinals were also played Saturday at Durham Academy. Durham’s girls reached the finals with a 49-41 win over Cary Academy and Ravenscroft got there with a 68-29 blasting of North Raleigh Christian.
In the boys’ bracket, North Raleigh beat Durham Adademy 59-49 and the Ravens took an 84-52 victory over Wake Christian.
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This was the second year in a row that the Ravens girls won both the regular season and the tournament, but the Ravens boys have a stronger streak of eight consecutive seasons capturing both trophies.
The teams now turn their attention to the independent schools playoff seedings to be released Sunday. The Ravenscroft girls (22-4) should be a top four seed, which would deliver a bye, while boys’ coach Kevin Billerman could see his 17-9 team as anywhere from the fifth to eighth seed and hosting a first round game Tuesday.
Coach Shon Hardy’s girls squad built a big early lead, 20-5, after the first quarter and led 32-13 at halftime. The Ravens got up by 24, 44-20, and appeared ready to coast to the win. But the Ravens went stone cold and did not score for eight minutes. Durham Academy pulled to within 44-36 before junior Cailin Dorsey broke the drought with a free throw. The lead got down to six, 45-39, but Dorsey scored a basket and eighth-grade point Madison Taylor hit a 3-pointer to right the ship.
“We thought we would win by playing smart and playing defense,” Hardy said. “Nandi Traywick rebounded well and we get great leadership from Cailin and Liz Gulden, our only senior. She’s out with an injury but she’s still here for the team.”
Freshman Erin Hughes led the winners with 13, followed by Taylor (12) and Traywick (10). Dana Williams led the Cavaliers with 10.
Ravenscroft’s boys ran their way to an early lead, but it was the defense that Billerman appreciated.
“We jumped ahead 8-0,” Billerman said. “But we weren’t scoring every possession, but we were playing good defense. (Senior point guard) Chris Corchiani had an outstanding game, guarding their best player, (Roger) Ray. And David Reynolds played very well offensively in the second half.”
Reynolds, a junior and the conference co-player of the year, scored 17 and had eight rebounds.
Corchiani added 13 points and six assists. Freshman Ian DuBose chipped in with 14 points.
“We played well,” Billerman said. “Everybody played well. With good defense, we were able to add to our lead every quarter.”
Ravenscroft led 12-6 after the first period, 27-18 at halftime, and 45-28 entering the final period.