The Broughton girls basketball team played two starkly different halves in a 53-34 loss to Southeast Raleigh (12-2, 4-1) Tuesday night, showing the inconsistency the Caps have faced all season.
The Bulldogs pounced on Broughton (5-10, 1-4) early on, building a 14-5 lead after the first quarter. The second quarter looked nearly identical with Southeast Raleigh leading 29-9 going into halftime.
Leading the Bulldogs was Tamia Hicks, who dominated the low post throughout the game. She finished with 16 points, tops on her team. Ten players in total scored for Southeast Raleigh, showing a very balanced attack.
Though Broughton looked a little sluggish coming out of the break, it won the third quarter 14-11 and competed much harder in the fourth. The team that lost the first half by 20 points won the next by one.
“When we really want to play, our guard play can be very strong,” said Broughton coach Brad McCorkle. “The second half, our guard play was definitely a bright spot. The first half, it was not so much a bright spot. We’ve just been so inconsistent.”
There was some optimism to take from the second half. Senior guard Brittney Smith scored 13 points in the half, 16 in total, and tried to bring her team back.
“We have the ability to go out there and win,” Smith said. “Like go hard. We get down on certain things and we just give up, but at the end of the day we know we can do certain things to be a team.”
McCorkle is still searching for the solution to that inconsistency his team has faced all season. The Caps had several runs during the game but also long stretches with no points. They didn’t make a field goal in the second quarter for more than six minutes, for example.
“As a team we have to learn each other and just understand who’s better at what and execute that,” said senior guard O’Shaela Peebles.
Of course, that team also had Kaila Ealey, who averaged more than 26 points per game and now plays at N.C. State. Now the Caps are seeking to fill the leadership void, and they’re taking a leadership by committee approach.
“Anybody that’s eager to get out there and hustle and motivate the team then that’s our leader for the night,” Peebles said. “We all pitch in, so I wouldn’t just say it’s one big leader.”
Injuries have also hurt Broughton – leading scorer Katie Wadsworth remains sidelined, but McCorkle is hopeful she can return Friday – as has inexperience.
“We’ve got some talented players that I think with experience will do some really great things in the program in time,” McCorkle said.
But for now, McCorkle is looking directly at his upperclassmen to lead this team, including captains Wadsworth and Smith, as well as Peebles, Tamia Parent and Marcy Waters.