Dec 26, 2013
After building a big lead in the first quarter, the Broughton Lady Capitals held on Thursday afternoon for a 59-52 win over the Greensboro Dudley Panthers in the second game of the Mix 101.5 Girls Bracket of the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational.
Looking to return to the Mix 101.5 Girls Bracket title game for the second consecutive tournament, the Caps will continue their march on Friday with a 1 p.m. matchup against the Riverside-West Forsyth winner.
Junior guard Kaila Ealey led the way for Broughton Thursday, finishing with 23 points, 8 rebounds, 7 steals and 4 assists.
Ealey scored nine of Broughton's final 13 points as the Caps overcame a hard-charging Dudley squad to pull away in the final two minutes of a back-and-forth second half.
Broughton head coach Brad McCorkle said he was proud that his team was able to steady itself and regain a lead over Dudley after letting the Panthers erase a 14-point first-quarter deficit.
"I think our team really showed a lot of toughness today. That was a good team we played against, and it's tough when you have a leave and you lose a lead," he said. "I was really proud of our team."
It was all Broughton early on, as the Caps raced out to a 20-10 lead after the first quarter. Dudley had trouble containing dribble penetration, and it resulted in several easy buckets for the Caps.
Ealey led Broughton through the first 16 minutes with 14 points.
Senior Kennedy Currie was the lone bright spot for the Panthers early. The High Point University signee tallied 11 points and 10 rebounds in the first half, helping steady the Panthers as they climbed back into things in the second quarter.
Dudley used an 18-10 advantage in the third quarter to pull even with Broughton headed into the final eight minutes.
The Panthers took a 46-45 lead early in the fourth quarter, but Broughton finished the final frame on a 14-6 run to secure the win. Ealey and senior forward Mariah Wall scored 13 of Broughton's 15 fourth-quarter points, with Ealey finishing things up at the line in the final minute.
"A lot of people were really tired today. Every single player made a contribution, and we played like a team today," McCorkle said. "We didn't get frustrated when we lost the lead. We stayed together."
Dudley head coach Frank McNeil said his team missed some assignments defensively in the key moments of the fourth quarter.
"They were a good team. They hit layups, free throws, they did a little bit of everything," McNeil said of Broughton.
Dreamer Crawford was the only other Broughton player to join Ealey in double figures, finishing with 11 points.
Currie finished with 18 points and 17 rebounds for the Panthers. Currie attributed the slow start to an early afternoon game on the day after Christmas.
"Coming off the bus trying to get that spark after being off nine days was tough," she said. "There is a difference in practice and the game, so a lot of that sluggishness came from our break."
McNeil agreed, but said he's glad that his team will get to play again in the consolation portion of the Mix 101.5 Girls Bracket.
"Just being able to play two more games, you come back and get to polish some things up," he said. "Playing today was good for our girls."
Dudley will play the Riverside-West Forsyth loser Friday morning at 11:30 a.m.
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