The Cap-8 Conference leading Millbrook girls and boys basketball teams traveled to Broughton and routed the Caps Friday night.
The Wildcat girls played one of their sloppier games of the season but still came out with a 60-42 win.
The Millbrook boys used a strong second half to win 78-57, sweeping the season series in a rivalry with even results in recent years.
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The Millbrook boys (17-1, 8-1) only took an eight-point lead into the half, but they didn’t take long in the second half to break open a big lead.
Trejon Jacob, the lanky lefty forward, said his coaches were telling the players to be aggressive and get to the basket.
“Wide open 3? Might as well fake and drive and get to the basket and try to get fouled,” Jacob said.
Whether Jacob was driving or shooting, the Caps (11-8, 6-3) could not slow him down.
He scored 11 points in the third quarter, which included nine unanswered. He started the quarter off by knocking down a 3, hitting two free throws then stealing the ball and scoring the transition layup. Coming out of a timeout, Jacob had a vicious block on Caps big man Jack Hemphill and later faked the three, drove and jammed it home – just like his coaches said he should.
At half, Broughton coach Jeff Ferrell thought his team was in a good position down just eight.
“(I thought) these first few minutes of the third quarter are really going to be crucial and unfortunately eight points went to 16 points,” Ferrell said. “They hit a couple shots and we had a couple turnovers and/or misses and it just ballooned from there.”
Jacob continued his strong play in the fourth quarter and led all scorers with 25 points. Guard John Burwell offered steady ball handling and scoring, finishing with 14. Reserve guard Rashad George played a key role throughout with 14 points off four long balls and a buzzer-beating layup before halftime. Hemphill and Tyler Palmer each led Broughton with 12 points.
The Wildcats extended their lead atop the conference standings, but the win and sweep was a big swing in the heated rivalry. In the previous five seasons, Millbrook had a 4-6 record against Broughton.
“It’s always the biggest crowds of the year for us,” said Ferrell. “On paper it always seems like Millbrook is better than we are, but yet we’re able to squeak out a win or two every year.”
Although the Millbrook girls (16-2, 9-0) won by 18, they didn’t look like the team that’s dominated most of their opponents this year. But there’s a simple reason for that.
“We underestimated (Broughton),” said Millbrook guard Dazia Powell, who led her team with 21 points. “We came in thinking we were going to blow them out like we did the first time. In reality they got better.”
The Wildcats looked like the bigger, faster and stronger team against the Caps (6-13, 2-7), but there was a lot of sloppy play on both ends. Nearly four minutes into the game, Millbrook had just a 4-2 lead but quickly flashed its potential with a 10-2 run.
“We had some spurts that we were really aggressive and we got back on D, but then we lost it,” Powell said.
Like usual, the Wildcats used their aggressive full court press to cause turnovers and easy transition buckets. But often in half court sets, they struggled to finish close shots. They often grabbed offensive rebounds and kept trying, but those struggles were indicative of their lack of sharpness.
“I could’ve gone up a little stronger and drew the contact instead of fading away from it or thinking (the refs) were going to call the foul when they weren’t,” Powell said.