Friday’s showdown between Heritage and Millbrook’s boys and girls basketball teams helped establish one conference champion and reaffirm another.
The Heritage boys, already Cap-8 Conference champs, won 77-69 to take the title outright.
Millbrook won the girls’ game in overtime, 54-46, to clinch the league.
The game was played in front of a standing-room-only crowd that had all but filled in by the middle of the fourth quarter in the girls’ game.
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“It was an exciting atmosphere,” Heritage boys basketball coach Tilden Brill said. “That was the most people I’ve seen in our gym, ever.”
The Wildcats and Heritage (18-3, 10-2) went into the extra period tied at 42-all as Heritage missed two shots in the final 20 seconds that would have won the game and created a tie atop the Cap-8.
Instead, Millbrook will win the conference for the seventh straight year. The Wildcats’ next win will ensure an outright title.
N.C. State recruit Kai Crutchfield was limited to just three points in regulation but scored five straight to give the Wildcats an early three-point lead in overtime.
“Big time players step up and do big time things,” Millbrook coach Chris East said.
Dazia Powell added 12 points and Sis Norman had a game-high 18 (6 of 6 at the line). Andreal Bass provided a spark off the bench with nine points and a game-high 14 rebounds.
Millbrook (20-2, 12-0) led 24-20 at halftime.
Heritage was held to just 25.8 percent shooting for the game.
“We got dominated on the glass,” Heritage coach Pat Kennedy said. “We missed a lot of shots around the basket, and when you do that multiple times it puts a lot of pressure on your defense to get stops.”
Heritage led 31-26 at halftime and 50-48 going into the fourth quarter, but pulled away with 25 points in the final period.
Heritage’s Jayden Gardner was his usual self with 27 points and 19 rebounds. He went 15-of-19 at the free throw line and 6-of-8 from the field for the Huskies (22-0, 12-0).
“When I start making free throws, I can start penalizing teams, because they can’t foul me,” Gardner said.
Millbrook (15-7, 7-5) was led by Jordan Whitfield’s 23 points and Patrick Dorsey’s 16 (4 of 7 from 3).
“We’re getting better. We were right in it with a very good team,” Millbrook coach Scott McInnes said. “There’s still a few things we’ve got to do defensively where we’ve got to do a better job. ... Obviously I’m not happy with a loss, but the focus is on the process of getting better.”