Broughton outlasts Panther Creek in 2nd round

Posted October 27, 2016
Updated October 28, 2016

Panther Creek High School traveled to Broughton High School for Round 2 of the NCHSAA 4-A Volleyball Playoffs on Thursday, October 27, 2016.  The Capitals won 3 sets to 1 over the Catamounts.  (25-22, 25-19, 19-25, 25-20) (Photo By: Beth Jewell/HighSchoolOT.com)

— Broughton extended its unbeaten streak to 12 matches at home this season with a 3-1 defeat of Panther Creek in the second round of the 2016 NCHSAA state volleyball playoffs.

The No. 3-ranked Capitals won the first two sets 25-20 and 25-19, but No. 6-ranked Panther Creek battled back to win the third set, 25-19. Broughton held off the Catamounts to claim victory in a wild fourth set, 25-20, and punch its ticket to the third round.

“We feel very fortunate to win and move on; they’re [Panther Creek] a really good opponent,” said Broughton head coach Jim Freeman. “This half of the bracket … there are so many good team in there.”

Broughton missed on six serves in the third set, something Freeman said the Capitals will have to clean up in order to find success in the next round.

“Mentally, we were off, so we had to get back in it. That’s the game – it’s a game of rotations, a game of runs,” Freeman said. “You have to limit the other teams’ good runs. In any of these matches, we have to be better at sustaining mental toughness and controlling the ball.”

After allowing Panther Creek to claim the third set, Broughton jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the fourth set, and led by as many as five points.

However, the Catamounts went on a 14-10 run to tie the match at 14 apiece, one of four lead changes in the fourth set.

“I think the way we rallied back just proves the heart and fire that we have on this team, and that’s what has carried us all season long,” said Panther Creek head coach Karen Garmon. “We want teams when they see the Panther Creek jersey to come in and know it’s a fight – know that you’re always going to have a fight when you see PC, and that we’re a family.”

Panther Creek claimed the lead twice in latter stages of the set, but Broughton mounted a 6-1 run after a 19-19 tie to claim the match.

“That was one of those ‘charge hell with a squirt gun’ speeches,” said Broughton head coach Jim Freeman. “I don’t do that often, but we needed to snap out of it and start bringing it instead of being passive.”

Broughton senior Kalee Vanderhorts led the Capitals with 20 kills and 12 digs Thursday night, and junior Claire Sawyer tallied a team-high 45 assists.

Sawyer and freshman Jade Demps recorded a combined four aces; Vanderhorst and senior Amber Russell added one ace apiece.

Vanderhorst surpassed 1,500 kills in Broughton’s victory over Panther Creek.

Freeman said the senior is only the second player in his 24 years of coaching to reach the 1,500 mark.

“I made a goal since I got my 1,000th that I was going to try and get 2,000,” Vanderhorst said. “I didn’t know how close I was, but it was exciting.”

Broughton (20-1, 13-1 Cap 8) will advance to play No. 2-seeded Cardinal Gibbons (20-7, 12-0 Pac 6) on Saturday.


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