DURHAM — Broughton's girls' run in the state playoffs was short -lived as the Caps ran into a literal Hornets nest Tuesday night at Hillside, losing 90-64 in the second round of the 4A playoffs.
Broughton, co-champs of the Cap Eight Conference, ends the season with an outstanding 20-4 record, but just couldn't match up with the tall, talented Hillside squad (22-5).
Junior Justine Lyon and senior Zuri White combined for 67 points. Lyon notched a career high 42, while White added 25.
Hillside is coming off its eighth consecutive PAC Six conference championship and this is the Hornets' 17th straight year in the state playoffs.
"This is a deep, talented, skilled group and they expect to win championships," Hillside veteran coach Overster Grays said. "Our younger players learn that here from the older ones. We lost some games early in the year. We were looking for chemistry and finding our roles. But we're getting better and this is the 14 win in a row. We're coming together."
Broughton, battled evenly at times and led late in the first quarter, but Mya Webb and Victoria Powell hit 3-pointers in the closing seconds of the first quarter to give the Hornets an 18-16 lead and they never trailed again as they scored the next 12 points.
"The biggest thing was they were the aggressors and the moment got away from us," Broughton coach Brad McCorkle said. "It caused us to not execute plays we ran all year and we also missed layups. And they certainly hurt us on the boards. They're a very athletic team. But I've got to say I really appreciate our seniors and the time they put in."
The Caps were hindered when senior post player Mariah Powell got into early foul trouble. She ended the game with nine points before fouling out and Kaila Ealey fought to keep her team in it with 31 points, including 17 of 21 free throws.
The Caps showed more fight in the fourth quarter. After falling behind by 24, 65-41, Broughton went on a 19-5 run to cut the Hillside lead to just 10, 70-60 with 5:31 to play. But once again the Hornets turned up the defensive pressure, forced turnovers, and cashed in of the offensive end to pull away.
"The defense, that's who we try to be," Grays said. "And the kids buy into it. We get people to turn the ball over and then push the ball on offense. And this team is still betting better and better at it."