Millbrook’s undefeated girls had no trouble advancing to the third round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 4A playoffs with a 58-20 victory over Apex.
The Wildcats, who won the 4A title in 2012, are 29-0 this season. They led the Cougars 17-2 at the start of the second period and 31-4 at the half.
“We picked up our defensive intensity,” Millbrook coach Chris East said. “We wanted to clean up our play some and we did a good job.”
East said he tells his club to focus on the game from possession to possession. “You have to take it game by game at this point in the season,” he said.
The Wildcats will spend the first part of practice on Thursday working on things that need improvement and then will switch the focus to the third-round matchup against Holly Springs, a 70-62 winner over Durham Hillside..
Briana Day, a Syracuse recruit, led Millbrook with 12 points.
Kiara Leslie led Holly Springs with 35 points.
“We made history tonight,” Leslie said after the Hawks reached the third round for the first time. “We’re going to be playing better teams every game now and we have to continue to play like we did tonight.”
Other 4A third-round girls’ games are Broughton at Green Hope, Wilmington Ashley at undefeated Fayetteville Seventy-First and Clayton at Greater Neuse 4A rival Southeast Raleigh..
Broughton beat Southern Durham while Green Hope handled Wakefield 46-34 as Ashley Williams scored 22 points. Ashley topped Wilmington Laney 75-72 in triple overtime.
4A boys: Apex rallied from a 15-point deficit to nip Millbrook 59-58 to advance as T.J. Evans scored 21 points. The Cougars will go to Broughton.
“At halftime, we were down a little it,” Evans said, “but I had this feeling that we were going to end up pulling it together.”
“He was lights out. Sometimes I think we take his scoring for granted,” Apex coach David Neal said. “The shots he hit tonight were a really high level of difficulty.When he gets to feeling like that, it’s fun to watch.”
Other area third-round games are Wilmington Hoggard at Clayton and Hillside at Durham Jordan.
Clayton junior Gary Clark scord 28 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and blocked six shots in the Comets’ 61-49 win over Wilmington Ashley.
Hillside nipped Green Hope 38-34.
Garner lost at Fayetteville Seventy-First, 70-62. Garner trailed by two and had the ball in the final minute, but couldn’t generate any offense. DeMarcus Sanford had 20 points in the loss.
“It was a game of runs,” Garner coach Eddie Gray said. “They got the last run. We had the opportunity to
take the lead at the end and had a couple of turnovers. We never could get the lead when we made the
run at them. If we could have gotten the lead, they may have had a different mindset.”
3A boys: The Chapel Hill boys will play Oxford Webb for the fourth time this season on Friday night in the third round. Chapel Hill won two of the previous meetings.
Webb’s Isaiah Hicks was sensational in an 87-57 win over Southern Wayne. The University of North Carolina recruit had 21 points, 16 rebounds and six blocked shots.
Erwin Triton’s season ended with a a 63-61 loss to Havelock. Triton led 61-59 before Havelock converted a three-point play. Triton didn’t score on its next possession and Havelock made a free throw.
“I’m greedy and want to win them all,” Triton coach T.J. Morrison said. “But we had a tremendous season. I never expected a 20-win season and to go 23-4 is amazing.”
2A boys: Deshawn High was high man for Bunn in its 67-65 win over Carrboro with 26 points. Trai Sharp had 22 in the setback.
2A girls: Whitney Bunn scored 14 points in Bunn’s 52-46 win over Bertie. Bunn travels to Pasquotank.