RALEIGH — Paced by a steady attack from its starters, the Wakefield Wolverines pulled out what head girls’ basketball coach Art Wollett said was a big win against the Broughton Capitals, 68-54.
“We tried to treat it like another game, but nobody did,” Wollett said. “I didn’t, they didn’t.”
Three members of Wakefield’s starting five scored in double-digits. Krystal Mangum led the unit with 19 points. MaKayla Williams followed with 18.
After a tightly-contested first quarter, the Wolverines broke out on a 10-0 run to start the second quarter. Wakefield showed several looks defensively to keep the Caps off balance, including a full court press, 1-3-1 and 2-3 zones.
“We live and die by defense,” Wollett said. “We typically don’t shoot the ball very well and so we did mix it up a little bit defensively. We tried to get those deflections out front, and we did.”
The deficit got as large 15 and Wakefield went into the half with a sizeable margin, 38-27.
The Caps were able to turn their fortunes around in the third quarter to make it a competitive contest. Broughton came out of the locker room in a full-court press, which caused several Wakefield turnovers and easy baskets for the Caps. By the end of the third quarter, the deficit was cut to seven, 50-43.
Justice Byrd was able to keep the Capitals in a threatening position, but the Wolverines kept Broughton at arms length. Wakefield’s lead was pushed back to double-digits after Madison Lenox blocked two shots on a Broughton possession and drew the foul when she gained possession of the ball.
Byrd, the Caps’ leading scorer with 23 points, fouled out with 1:44 left on the clock and put any hopes of a Broughton comeback to bed.
The win gave Wakefield a 5-1 record in the Cap 8 to gain sole possession of second place in the league. Broughton fell to 4-2.
Broughton’s boys routed Wakefield, 53-41, to improve its record to 5-1 in the conference. Devonte’ Graham paced the Caps with 13 points, five rebounds and three assists.
“We kind of go as he goes a little bit,” Broughton boys’ head coach Jeff Ferrell said. The Caps held the lead throughout the game after gaining control, 6-4, in the first quarter. Its largest lead was the halftime score, 30-13.
Wakefield was able to cut the game nine after a 7-0 run late in the third quarter, but Broughton made another push to get its lead back into double-figures late in the quarter to finish the game.