By Maurice Patton
SPRING HILL – After advancing to within a victory of the Class AAA state tournament a year ago, with the bulk of that roster set to return, it’d be reasonable to expect Summit to be at or near the top of District 11-AAA heading into the holidays.
It’d also be wrong, as the Spartans have yet to hit their stride on the hardwood – falling for the fourth time in as many games Friday night as visiting Ravenwood dealt them a 58-46 decision.
“Summit’s a work in progress right now, but we know what they bring to the table,” Raptors coach Patrick Whitlock said after his squad improved to 7-1 overall and 5-0 in league play. “A lot of people think the district runs through them, so it’s good we got them when we did.
“We know they’ll come back a little more formidable the next time.”
Friday’s matchup marked the Spartans’ first outing with most of their multi-sport athletes, as all five starters – Destin Wade, Caleb Jolley, Tre Hunter, Konata Werts and Brady Pierce — were on the field for the Class 5A state championship game two weeks ago.
The transition from football to basketball takes time, though, particularly when summer work was nonexistent as a result of the ongoing global pandemic.
“We’ve got some kids that we’d had three days, four days, one day,” second-year Summit coach Jim Fey said. “We’re glad to have Destin; he’s a competitive kid.
“It’s a carbon copy of last year. We started 0-2, and we needed some game to get us over the hump. Last year, it was in the (holiday) tournament up at Kenwood. I don’t know when it’ll be.”
Despite the return of the gridiron group, it was back-to-back 3-pointers from reserves Marcus White and Alex Pollard that gave Summit an early 12-6 advantage – an advantage that Ravenwood overcame with eight straight points to close the first period.
After Wade converted a three-point play to open the second quarter, the lead seesawed until Ravenwood’s Lee Mollette scored just before the halftime buzzer to give the Raptors a 24-22 cushion and an early 6-3 spurt put the visitors ahead for good.
Down as many as a dozen in the third quarter, Summit got the deficit down to 45-40 on a Wade basket with five minutes to play. Ravenwood answered with a Connor English trey and a Jake Mulder low-post bucket to restore the double-digit cushion.
“Defensively, we should have won the game,” Fey said as his team lost its second district contest. “Offensively, we never should have been in it.
“Pollard came in and gave us a huge lift, knocking down some shots. (But the starters) can compete physically on defense. They’re just not mentally ready because of the time they’ve been gone.”
Wade scored 16 points and Pollard adding eight, including a pair of 3s, to lead Summit offensively. Mulder scored 16 with Ben Bonga and Noah Clifford – both members of the Ravenwood state quarterfinal football team – each scoring nine.
Summit resumes play Saturday, as Green Hill visits for a boys-only matchup at 2:45 p.m. Ravenwood has upcoming matchups with Father Ryan and Siegel before competing in the NxtLvl invitational at Christ Presbyterian Academy on Dec. 28-30.
“We’ll find out how good we are in the next 10 days,” Whitlock said.
● Summit’s girls, currently sidelined for pandemic-related reasons, will face visiting Ravenwood on Jan. 6.
Ravenwood boys 58, Summit 46
R 14 10 18 16 – 58
S 12 10 14 10 – 46
Ravenwood (58) – Matthew Williams 3, Myles Pollard 5, Lee Mollette 2, Nick Dang 4, Andrew Lamuno 6, Ben Bonga 9, Conner English 3, Jake Mulder 16, Will Brent 1, Noah Clifford 9
Summit (46) – Destin Wade 16, Caleb Jolley 4, Konata Werts 6, Brady Pierce 2, Aden Byrd 7, Marcus White 3, Alex Pollard 8
3-pointers – Ravenwood 3 (Williams, Pollard, English), Summit 4 (Wade, White, Pollard 2)