Midtown: Sports

Experience Broughton team tops Athens Drive in boys’ basketball opener

Tuesday night’s matchup between Athens Drive and Broughton was the first game of the season for both teams,and in the first quarter, it showed.

Athens turned the ball over more than it scored, and Broughton struggled as well, but it was a seasoned Capsteam that managed to overcome its sluggish start, picking up a 54-29 win.

“It certainly looked like the first game, because we were trying to go a million miles an hour and do 10 things at a time,” said Broughton coach Jeff Ferrell. “We’re trying to harp on the fact that if we just slow down a little bit, we’ll end up looking a lot faster.”

It took the Broughton more than four minutes to score its first basket. The Caps scored their first six points onAthens Drive turnovers, turning miscues into dunks and layups and taking a 10-8 lead late in the first quarter.

The second quarter was more of the same, as Broughton’s two-point lead quickly turned into a 15-point lead, and by halftime the visitors led 29-15. Ferrell acknowledged his team’s ability to score off turnovers in transition was a big reason the Caps were able to find their rhythm.

“Once we got that first basket, we started picking it up defensively,” Ferrell said. “Our offense really feeds off our defense and I thought we got some buckets because of our defense and that kind of got us loosed up.”

Broughton maintained its lead for the second half, outscoring Athens Drive, 25-12, and holding the Jaguars to three points in the fourth quarter.

Chase Johnson scored a game-high 14 points for Broughton and Devonte Graham added 11. Kevin Campbell led Athens Drive with 10.

Although Athens Drive coach Robert Clemmons Jr. was disappointed with the loss, he tried to put the game into perspective.

His team lost eight players from last year’s team and Tuesday’s game was the first on varsity for almost half of the team.

“This group is inexperienced, and we had a couple of kids transfer in, so we weren’t together much this summer and we don’t have much team chemistry," Clemmons said. “We’re just learning how to play together and Broughton is a good basketball team.”

On the other end of the experience spectrum, Broughton brought back all the major pieces from last season’s Cap Eight championship team. Ferrell said he thinks his team can go far if it plays as a unit.

“This team has the chance to be a really good team, but I want them to learn how to play together a little bit more and be a little more patient.”