It's a barrier that the Brentwood High boys just can't seem to overcome.
For the sixth time in the school's 30-year history, the Bruins boys basketball team reached the sectionals, one win from the state tournament. But with a 60-52 win Monday night, Wilson Central once again turned away the host Bruins from the promised land.
Wilson Central (26-5) took the lead for good on a Jacob Williams basket at the end of the third quarter at 42-40 and turned back several Bruins threats in the last minutes.
The trip to the Class AAA state tournament is the third in Wilson Central’s 10-year history. It also leaves the Bruins heartbroken again.
"I thought this was the year, especially since we got a home game [by winning the region for the first time since 1995],'' veteran BHS coach Dennis King said. "It was a special team. In [shooting guard] Jack Montague, we had someone who was the definitive player in the history of the program in my opinion.
"We won a couple of tournaments over the holidays, including the Ensworth tournament and they won (DII) state. It just gets worse the more I think about it. We just can't seem to get that monkey off our back.”
His team ended 26-8 and lost in the sectional for the second straight year
Before a packed, screaming house at BHS, there were six lead changes early in the game, and senior forward Dee Oldham's 3 gave Central a 31-27 halftime lead.
Oldham finished with 19 points with five rebounds for the Wildcats.
"It's my first trip to state, and I finally made it my senior year,'' the 6-foot-3 Oldham said. "Our coaches put in a great gameplan, we followed it, and we're going to state. My shots starting falling early, and that got me going.''
The game took a sharp turn for Central when Brentwood's Cody Shelton was called for his fourth foul after he felt he had made a clean block on a shot. He slammed the ball down and was hit with a technical foul, the result being his fifth foul.
Blake Huffman hit three of the four free throws, snapped a tie and gave the Wildcats a 38-35 lead.
"I think it was [the turning point],'' King said. "It was a terrible call, Cody made a clean block. When he fouled out, we lost our third main weapon on offense.''
"Every time Brentwood made a run, our kids came up big,'' WC coach Troy Bond, who is the only boys coach in the school's 10-year history, said. "It was a great atmosphere for a high school game. Jacob and Dee came up big every time. It's special to get back to state.''
Wilson Central will learn its first-round foe at a pairings meeting Saturday in Murfreesboro.
• Hunters Lane fell short in its bid for state as the Warriors lost at Clarksville 74-69. Clarksville had knocked out Overton in last year's sectional.
• Top-ranked Christ Presbyterian Academy routed Giles County 71-50 in Class AA Sectionals Monday, joining the school's girls team as state tournament participants.
Craig Bradshaw poured in 25 points, Jake Allsmiller had 15 and Jalen Lindsey added 12 for the host Lions (34-2). Last week, Allsmiller broke Hunter Miller's school record of 102 three-pointers in one season and he has 108.
• Host Spring Hill ended David Lipscomb's season with a 71-55 win in its AA Sectional.
CPA is the only Nashville school to reach state in either girls or boys division.