Holiday Invitational

After state championship run, Broughton returns to Holiday Invitational

Posted December 25, 2013

Broughton's #24 G. Gottfried dribbles the ball as Millbrook defeats Broughton 51 to 50 Friday night December 14, 2012. (Photo by Jack Tarr)

Raleigh Broughton is coming off one of the best seasons in school history — the Caps came within an eyelash of a 4A state championship last season but fell in the title game to Charlotte Olympic by three points.

This season presents new challenges for coach Jeff Ferrell’s club, who look to recapture the CAP-8 conference crown.

Broughton, the host school, makes its 25th appearance in the field and looks to capture the championship for the first time since 1986. Ferrell enters the tournament cautiously optimistic.

“I don’t know really what to expect for the tournament,” he said. “The level of competition is so good this year, I’m hopeful we can compete with our opponents.”

Hosting the tourney again is a double-edged sword, he said.

“I do feel like there is added pressure playing in our own gym,” Ferrell said. “Everyone thinks this is our tournament, but it’s not — it just happens to be in our own gym. We haven’t played well in this tournament in the past and being at home may play into that somewhat.”

Despite a fifth-place finish in last year’s tournament, Ferrell found a way to use the tournament as a way to grow his club.

“Last year’s tournament showed us how far we were from being a state championship team, so it was good for us,” he said.

However, the Broughton head man is looking for more than just a strong showing from his group this season.

“This group needs to find its own identity and make its own mark in Broughton history,” Ferrell said. “We definitely are not resting and basking on last year’s success. If anything, we must work harder because everyone will be wanting to whip us.”

While the Capitals lost several key figures from last year’s team, the cupboard is far from bare as Cameron Gottfried, the son of N.C. State University head coach Mark Gottfried, returns along with a supporting cast of Vonshae Lewis, Jerome Robinson and Austin Burnette.

With the rigors of the CAP-8 conference only weeks away, Broughton hopes to use this tournament as a springboard to continue the success from last season.

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