RALEIGH — All season Cap Seven basketball teams have battled in hotly contested games, and the boys tournament semifinals at Broughton Thursday night were no different.
Millbrook (20-4) tied Enloe (20-4) for the regular season title, but the Wildcats clinched the league's number one seed in the state tournament next week after they defeated fourth seed Broughton 42-38 and Enloe fell to Wakefield 70-66.
The Wildcats and Wolverines play Friday night at Broughton after the girls title game between Enloe and Sanderson, which will start at 5:30. If Wakefield beats Millbrook it would move up to the league's number two seed, dropping Enloe to third. The top four teams are in the state tournament, with a possibility of a fifth team getting a wild card berth.
Broughton (15-10) led most of its game. Millbrook took its first lead, 33-32, on a short jumper by Steven Townsend with 2:48 left in the third quarter. Led by senior Jarrick Brown, who scored all seven of the Wildcats' fourth quarter points, Millbrook held the lead the rest of the way. Brown ended the game with 17 points.
"We battled, they battled, and Coach [Jeff] Ferrrell has them playing so hard," Millbrook coach Scott McInnes said. "And for us Jarrick does the things an all-conference senior should do, plays good defense, handles the ball, and hits the shots. I know he hit a big three early in the fourth quarter."
Brown got help inside from post player Donzell Hill, who scored 12.
"Donzell is a great presence on defense and rebounds so well," McInnes said. "And Shi'Chee Moore also played well and hit a couple of big shots for us."
Broughton built its early lead with transition baskets.
"Millbrook made some adjustments and took away some of our transition game," Ferrell said. "They play as good defense as I've seen a high school team play in a long time. It seems like they have six guys out there and turned it into a half-court game."
Prince Williams led Broughton with 11 points.
Wakefield's nail-biter with Enloe was to be expected. The two teams split a pair of one-point decisions in the regular season.
"When we couldn't win the regular season, then winning the tournament became our goal," Wakefield coach Pat Kennedy said. "And tonight we had a lot of people play well and make plays. Xavier Saddler-Mee [12 points] played really well. He had a tough assignment with Enloe's point guard [Emanuel Chapman], who's one of the best around. And inside Keith Armstrong [13 points] plays so hard everytime out. He's been averaging a double-double and that's against good competition.
"And I know we hit our last eight free throws down the stretch and Maurice Nash [15 points] hit some of those."
Dominique McDonald added 14 points for the 20-6 Wolverines, who hit 18 of 22 free throws.
Melvin Tabb, Enloe's 6-foot-8 Wake Forest recruit, scored 23, followed by Chapman with 13 and Marcus Walker with 11.
"It was a very good game," Enloe coach Tommy Moore said. "They played well down the stretch and so did we. They had that little lead and did the things they had to to keep it."
This afternoon at 4 at Wakefield, the girls teams of Broughton and Millbrook will play. They were part of the four-way tie in the regular season. Since both lost out in league's semifinals, they will play to decide the seedings for the state tournament.