Broughton bounces back, takes Cap-8 title over Leesville Road

cgrant@newsobserver.comFebruary 22, 2013 

— Broughton’s boys’ basketball team would not be denied come conference tournament time.

The Caps finished a strong Cap-8 tournament showing with a 67-58 win over Leesville Road on Friday for a second straight conference tournament title.

After losing two of its final three games of the regular season, Broughton outscored its opponents 214-143 in the three tournament games this week.

“I’d never say it’s good to lose, but I think it woke us up a little bit,” said Broughton coach Jeff Ferrell. “It showed us that no one is going to lie down for us because it says Broughton across our chests. If anything, that will make them come at us harder.”

Leesville Road, a No. 3 seed for the conference tournament, did not back down against the top-seeded Caps.

The Pride entered the championship game following an overtime win the night before and a double-overtime win in the first round.

Leesville came out swarming to start the game, but Broughton regained its composure and got hot from outside to distance itself heading into halftime.

Down by 10 heading into the fourth quarter, the Pride pulled within two points with just more than two minutes remaining.

Broughton shot 8-11 from the line in the fourth quarter and forced Leesville turnovers, which the Caps converted into points down the stretch to end the game in regulation and deny the Pride another chance in overtime.

“It’s hard in this conference to win two games in a row, let alone three games,” said Leesville Road coach Russ Frazier. “I feel as if my team is playoff ready, but we still need to grow. And that’s what it takes – continually getting better.”

Frazier said Broughton’s experience in a conference tournament title showed down the stretch.

The Caps finally have a full roster, something Ferrell has been eager to see.

“I’ve been waiting almost four months to see what this team could do with everyone healthy,” he said.

Millbrook girls remain undefeated

Millbrook’s girls’ basketball team will begin its state tournament quest to defend its NCHSAA 4A title with an unblemished record.

The Wildcats topped Broughton, 64-52, in the Cap Eight tournament championship for the second year in a row.

Just as in the teams’ regular season meeting earlier this month, the Caps gave Millbrook a little trouble early on and made a surge late in the game, but a composed Wildcats team held on for the win.

Millbrook quickly turned a six-point halftime lead into 15-point game midway through the third quarter by taking the ball inside.

“We had a talk at halftime, and we came out more energetic because we knew what was at stake,” said Millbrook senior guard Mykia Jones, who finished with a team-high 16 points.

The Caps made a late-game run, using its scrappy defense to create layup opportunities on the other end.

Broughton pulled back within six points with just more than two minutes remaining. Nadine Ealey led the charge on her way to a game-high 25 points, but the Caps couldn’t close the gap.

Millbrook coach Chris East said while he wished the game hadn’t gotten so close down the stretch, he saw glimpses that made him feel positive about the team’s chances in the tournament.

“There were some spurts there in the third quarter where we looked really good,” he said. “If we play like that, we’ll be hard to beat.”

Grant: 919-829-4538

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