Millbrook’s Jordan Whitfield drove the lane for a tough basket with three seconds remaining, lifting the visiting Wildcats to a 65-63 victory over Broughton and a split of their Cap-8 4A Conference basketball doubleheader Friday night.
The Millbrook girls, the defending state 4A champion, remained unbeaten in the league with a 57-29 victory in the first game of the night.
“I was confident with my abilities and just stayed with it,” Whitfield, a senior guard, said of the shot. “I’m just glad it went it because it was a rough night for me. Thank the Lord.”
Broughton freshman Carson McCorkle scored a game-high 26 points and helped pull the Caps back into the game at the end. After an 11-0 run by Millbrook (14-6, 6-4) had erased a five-point deficit and given the Wildcats a 63-57 lead with 1:31 remaining, Jalen Finich sank a 3-pointer to make it 63-60 with 1:02 left.
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McCorkle then drained another 3 to tie the score with 38 seconds left. That set the stage for Whitfield’s heroics.
“We made a great comeback,” Millbrook coach Scott McInnes said. “I’m really proud of our guys. Then Jordan made a heck of a shot at the end. Our defense was great down the stretch.”
Broughton dropped to 11-9, 4-6 in the conference.
“There was no doubt about the heart we had tonight,” Broughton coach Jeff Ferrell said. “I thought was had some great intensity to start the game and played hard to the end.”
Broughton had a pair of double-figure scorers – McCorkle and Tyler Palmer with 16.
Millbrook was led by Patrick Dorsey with 20 points. Chase Fowler added 13 and Whitfield 11.
Millbrook’s girls (18-2, 10-0) were in a battle with the Caps (4-14, 1-9) until the final quarter.
Broughton was within nine points at 38-29 with 5:25 remaining but did not score another point. Millbrook, ranked No. 2 in The News & Observer poll, went on a 19-0 run to finish the game and turn it into a blowout.
“All the credit goes to Broughton,” Millbrook coach Chris East said. “They played harder at times than we did tonight and we just can’t let that happen.”
Sisalynn Norman led Millbrook with 18 points. Dazia Powell added 11 and Kai Crutchfield 10.
Broughton got 12 points from Keonna Jasper.
Norman is enjoying a standout senior season after missing all of last season with a torn ACL.
A senior forward, Norman is one of the critical cogs on a balanced team, and showed that she can carry the scoring load Friday night with an 18-point effort that led the Wildcats to a 57-29 victory over Broughton.
“I’m just happy to be back with the team and helping them,” Norman said. “It’s not just about points. It’s about winning as a team. We need to work together and let everyone get their points.”
The Wildcats also get double-figure scoring on a regular basis from Kai Crutchfield (10 against Broughton) and Dazia Powell (11 against the Caps). Andreal Bass (7 against Broughton) can also put the ball in the basket and is a strong rebounder.
“It’s usually different each night, just who has the hot hand,” Millbrook coach Chris East said. “It’s nice (to have balance) so if you have an off night scoring you can tell a kid they can help you in other ways --defense, rebounding, passing the ball, just being a good teammate.”
Friday night, it was Norman’s turn to have the hot hand.
“I’m glad for Sis after missing all of last season with an ACL,” East said. “She played well at the beginning of the second half (when the Wildcats started going inside more).”
Norman is just glad to be contributing again.
“It feels really good,” Norman said. “Last year was rough. I didn’t enjoy sitting on the bench at all. I’m just happy to be back out there playing.”
The Broughton and Millbrook boys put on a back-and-forth shootout Friday night that left both of the coaches calling it the same thing – a classic high school battle.
“That is a classic Millbrook-Broughton game right there,” Broughton coach Jeff Ferrell said. “Over the years, we had a lot of battles and they had won probably a few more than we have but it has always been a good competitive rivalry.
“Tonight was no exception.”
The game swung back and forth and featured a little bit of everything.
Broughton freshman was on fire, hitting four straight 3-point attempts during one stretch in the third period and finishing with a game-high 26 points. He made a 3 with 38 seconds left to tie the score at 63-63.
Then it was time for another player to steal the show. Millbrook’s Jordan Whitfield drove to the basket for a contested layup with 3.2 seconds remaining to lift the Wildcats to a 65-63 victory.
“It was a great basketball game,” Millbrook coach Scott McInnes said. “That is what we expect from Broughton. It’s going to be up and down, up and down. It’s a rivalry. Both teams aren’t going to give up.
“That was a very well played game, a classic. For five dollars, you can’t get anything better that that.”