Millbrook girls, Broughton boys knock off previously undefeated teams in Cap Eight basketball

cgrant@newsobserver.comFebruary 18, 2014 

— The last two undefeated teams in Cap Eight play fell Monday night, as the Millbrook girls team held on for a 61-60 overtime win over Broughton and the Caps boys jumped out early to take a 64-56 win over host Millbrook.

The outcome of the girls game forces a tie for first place in the conference with two games remaining in the regular season.

“We knew if we wanted to continue the streak of conference championships that we had to get this one tonight and they came through,” Millbrook girls coach Chris East said. “We had a lead and lost it, weren’t very smart with it, but we came back and we went ahead and finished. For some reason, I don’t know why, but I just thought we weren’t going to lose tonight.”

Millbrook capped the half with a 10-3 run to create distance in what had been a back-and-forth contest for the first 13 minutes of play. The Wildcats extended the lead to 45-35 entering the fourth quarter before Broughton came alive in the final period of regulation.

The Caps started the fourth quarter on a 13-2 run, taking the lead on a transition layup by Dreamer Crawford with 5:00 remaining.

“When you’re down ten to a team that good at the end of the third quarter and to come back and win the fourth quarter by ten points, to make that kind of comeback in the fourth quarter showed a lot of heart,” Broughton coach Brad McCorkle said. “I was really proud of that, but at the same time, you can’t play that way for three quarters and expect to make a comeback on a team that good. I’m proud of them, but we’ve just got to play hard the whole game.”

Millbrook recovered to force overtime, helped by senior Jaylaan Dillard who came up big for the Wildcats with two steals in the final seconds of regulation -- one to set up the tying basket by Destinie Dunn with 20 seconds remaining, and another to hold Broughton without a final shot to win the game.

Broughton went on a 5-1 run to start the extra period, but Millbrook had the last word, scoring the final five points of the game.

Sophomore L’donnisty Granison was fouled on a made basket with 13.5 seconds to tie the game. She made the free throw to take the lead before a final attempt by Broughton junior Kaila Ealey, who led all scorers with 21 points, rimmed out to allow Millbrook to hold on in the final seconds.

Dillard led the Wildcats with 14 points. Freshman Sis Norman added 12, followed by Granison with 11 and freshman Kai Crutchfield with 10.

“We have a pretty special freshman class,” East said. “In thinking back to our very first game against East Wake where we lost and to see those kids now, I think they’ve learned so much. There’s still area for us to improve and we’re still going to keep going to get better, but I’m just so happy that we pulled this one off tonight.”

Crawford scored 15 for the Caps. Mariah Wall and Dejah Cheatham added 11 and 10, respectively.

Caps boys start fast to top Wildcats

Broughton’s boys basketball team had waited for another shot at Millbrook since the Wildcats topped the Caps by 20 points in early January. Monday’s matchup, postponed twice due to weather, was controlled by the Caps early on. Broughtoncame out firing offensively and stifled the Wildcats on the other end Monday to jump out to a 39-24 lead by halftime.

The Wildcats rallied back late, pulling within four points with 1:13 remaining in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t close the gap. The loss was the first in conference play for a Millbrook (18-4, 11-1) team that dominated league opponents before Monday.

“We feel great,” said Broughton senior Cam Gottfried, who led all scorers with 20 points. “We knew if we could get this one, the rest of the week will be a little bit smoother. We still have to play with energy and passion tomorrow night, but this win definitely catapults us throughout the week.”

The Broughton (16-6, 8-4) win could end up being the deciding game in a possible second-place conference finish for the Caps.

Millbrook, which has locked up first place in the conference, travels to Leesville Road Tuesday. Leesville (11-10, 7-4) is now a half game behind Broughton in the conference standings after the Caps’ win Monday. Broughton will play at Enloe Tuesday.

This week’s games have an extra sense of importance after weather forced the cancellation of the Cap Eight tournament, initially scheduled for this week, so teams could complete regular season schedules.

“In a way this is kind of like a tournament week for us, because it determines a lot of where we go next week,” Broughton coach Jeff Ferrell said.

Jerome Robinson and Roy McMillan added 15 and 12 points, respectively, for the Caps. Chris Clemmons led Millbrook with 19.

Grant: 919-829-4538

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