RALEIGH — Garner came into Wednesday’s N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A East second round game at Millbrook riding a triple-digit scoring effort from its first round win over Lumberton, but the Wildcats defense stifled the Trojans, forcing turnovers and missed shots early as Millbrook rolled to a 91-70 win.
No. 4-seed Millbrook (22-4, 13-1 Cap Eight) jumped out to 19-9 lead with just less than three minutes remaining in the first quarter prompting Garner coach Eddie Gray to call a time out to talk it over with the Trojans.
On the next Garner possession, a cross-court pass went sailing out of bounds. The Trojans wouldn’t score for the next 3:54 and trailed 47-24 at halftime.
“We didn’t do a really good job protecting the ball and we had a lot of unforced errors,” Gray said. “Our chance of winning was we really needed to cut down on the errors and we had to be able to shoot and make the outside jumpshots and we didn’t do that and got in a hole there. But Millbrook’s got a really good basketball team. They took us out of our game. They played a more physical brand of basketball and we didn’t respond to that.”
Millbrook moves on to host No. 5 Fayetteville Seventy-First, winner of a 65-55 game over Leesville Road, on Friday.
The Wildcats never gave up ground, keeping the distance despite No. 13 Garner (17-8, 12-2 Greater Nuese River) opening the second half with a quick 3-point shot. The Millbrook win snapped the Trojans’ 12-game winning streak.
“Garner plays so fast, so we really had to slow them down and Andrew (Evans and Josh Peacock) really set the tone for that., and Jake (Wilson) was big too. He protected the rim a lot,” Millbrook coach Scott McInnes said. “That’s usually a third or fourth-round game, so for the second round it was tough. Both teams are coming off of really big wins. We wanted to do what we do and play really good solid defense and take good shots.”
Brandon Goldsmith led Millbrook on the offensive end with 23 points. Carlee Clemons returned from an injury to chip in 14 points, followed by Robert Brown and Chris Clemons with 13 and 11, respectively.
Jashaun Smith led the Trojans with 15 points. Julius Barnes added 12.