Heritage overcomes slow start, advances to Cap 8 championship
Posted February 16
Updated February 17
Raleigh, N.C. — Heritage recovered from an early 14-point deficit to defeat Broughton, 72-58, Thursday night in Raleigh, punching its ticket to the Cap 8 Conference tournament championship.
“They came out and punched us in the mouth, and I was really proud of the guys,” said Heritage head coach Tilden Brill. “They were resilient, they stuck together and we were able to get it done tonight.”
The Huskies were without the services of starting forward Ian Hinkley, who missed the game with a high ankle sprain.
Junior Jayden Gardner paced the Huskies with the game’s only double-double, finishing with 28 points and 13 rebounds.
Broughton jumped out of the game firing on all cylinders, jumping out to a quick 16-2 lead over the undefeated Huskies.
Senior center Jack Holloway dominated the paint in the first quarter, tallying eight of his 12 points through the first eight minutes.
“I just had to start playing my game on the defensive side, and I kind of overlooked him to at the start,” Gardner said. “I started making adjustments and ended up shutting him out in the second half.”
Heritage, as it has all season, had an answer after a slow start to begin the contest. The Huskies used a 29-14 run of its own to claim a 31-30 lead at halftime.
“Our defense communication needed to improve; it really stunk in the first quarter," Brill said. "Our intensity and effort just wasn’t there. The defense opened it up for our offense. We started to get stops, and that created some easier opportunities for us."
Broughton managed to keep the Heritage’s lead within single digits in the third frame, but Gardner took over with 14 fourth-quarter points to spearhead a 25-17 run to ice the ice the game.
Heritage senior Thayer Thomas finished Thursday’s game with a career-high 16 points, connecting on four three-point baskets. Junior Jarren McAllister and Colton Reed also finished in double figures with 11 points and 10 points, respectively.
Broughton freshman Carson McCorkle matched Holloway for a team-high 12 points, and junior Tyler Palmer added 11 points for the Capitals.
Heritage will advance to play Millbrook for the Cap 8 Conference tournament championship from Broughton High School Friday at 7 p.m. The Huskies appeared in last year’s title game but fell to Millbrook, 80-43.
“We have a lot of unfinished business from last year since we lost to Millbrook last year, so we’re trying to finish out this year,” Gardner said.