DURHAM — It looks like the state 4A playoffs have brought out the best in the Broughton girls basketball team.
After taking down Northern Durham in the first round on Monday, the Capitals nearly ran the Spartans of Southern Durham out of their own gym Wednesday night, racing to an 89-66 win.
Broughton (23-5), the sixth seed in the regional, will play at second-seed Green Hope on Friday.
Southern, which was the third seed, was the PAC 6 champion and finished 19-7 overall.
Broughton jumped ahead 12-1 early and led 29-8 after the first quarter, to the surprise of both coaches.
The Caps had won when the two teams played in November.
"I tried to make sure the girls understood that that game was in November and it’s been a long time since then," Broughton coach Brad McCorkle said. "I knew that team was 11-1 in their conference and wasn’t the same team we saw earlier."
Southern coach Monique Fearrington thought her team was ready.
"We knew what we were gettting in them and we prepared," Fearrington said. "But things just didn’t go for us, shots didn’t drop. They just outplayed us."
Broughton led 54-30 at halftime. Then Justice Byrd hit a three-pointer and Megan Sullivan converted two free throws for the Caps’ largest margin of the game, 29, at 59-30.
Southern rallied a couple of times but was just too far behind. The Spartans got as close as 13, 68-55 early in the fourth period, but again Broughton pulled away
"We talked about coming out with the intensity we needed and we were facing a team roughly the same size, which is unusual," McCorkle said. "So we were able to play man to man and run and that’s the game we’re comfortable with. And we shot well."
Sophomore Kaila Ealey led the winners with 26 and Byrd added 20. Nicole Bellamy scored 9 and Nadine Ealey chipped in 8.
"Kaila was up and down the floor and Justice Byrd shot the ball extremely well," McCorkle said. "The best thing about tonight was we had so many contributors. I’m ecstatic about the fact we had 10 players score tonight. We’re playing well together and as the season has gone on we’ve discovered what we’re most comfortable with and we’re playing that game now."
For Southern, Regene Watson scored 18 followed by Alexis Joyner with 12, Bryonna Staton with 11, and Addis Tillam with 9.