Friday night was a good night for the Ealey sisters.
Kaila Ealey scored the winning basket with 3.7 seconds left after her sister Nadine had tied the score. They helped lift the Broughton girls’ basketball team to a 48-46 victory over Green Hope in the third round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A playoffs.
The Caps (24-5) trailed 46-40 with two minutes left but went on an 8-0 closing run to earn a trip to Fayetteville on Wednesday. They will face unbeaten Millbrook (30-0) for the fourth time this season.
“I could barely make shots all game, and to make that last one felt so great,” said Kaila Ealey, who also scored on a three-point play to start the late rally.
Ealey, a sophomore, led the Caps with 14 points. Senior Nicole Bellamy added 11 and threw the inbounds pass to Nadine Ealey in the corner with 40 seconds left for the shot that tied the game 46-46.
“I don’t know if we could draw up anything more dramatic and fun than this,” said Broughton coach Brad McCorkle, whose sixth-seeded Caps have won two road games to reach the regionals. “I couldn’t be more proud of our girls and how they stepped up. ”
The Falcons (26-3) were led by seniors Ashley Williams (17 points), Lauren Midgette (11), Cassidy Sowards (10) and Maggie Auslander (6). Green Hope played in the 2010 state championship game and reached the fourth round the past two years. The senior-led team was hoping for one more chance at the state title.
“It’s been a really good year; a lot of people didn’t think we could get this far,” said Green Hope coach Mike Robinson. “I’m very proud of all these girls; they always get after it and it’s been a pleasure to coach every one of them.”
Broughton led 21-19 at halftime, but Green Hope made some halftime adjustments and took a 35-30 lead into the final quarter. The Caps had stopped the Falcons’ penetration before intermission, but Green Hope was able to score in the paint.
Megan Sullivan gave the Caps a 38-37 lead with 5 minutes, 24 seconds left, but the Falcons went on a 9-2 run over the next few minutes that looked as if it would push them over the top.