Dec 29, 2012
Boosted by sophomores Rhydeiah Rogers and Aliyah Mazyck, Charlotte Myers Park captured its second consecutive HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational tournament title Saturday evening with a 56-48 win over Broughton in the Mix 101.5 Girls Bracket title game.
After a sluggish start by both teams, the Mustangs (12-0) used a 9-2 spurt midway through the second quarter to build a comfortable halftime lead they would hang onto in a back-and-forth second half. The Lady Caps pulled to within four points in the final two minutes, but the Mustangs made four free throws and a layup in the closing 90 seconds to secure the win.
First-year head coach Barbara Nelson, who came to Myers Park after coaching at Wingate University, said her team was a bit too excited early.
"This team is very capable. They really wanted this, so they were excited, almost too much," Nelson said. "With the score the way it was I think they got themselves jammed up, and I don't think we ever really got in a rhythm."
Rogers, who was named Mix 101.5 Bracket Most Valuable Player, finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds and 2 assists despite spending much of the third quarter on the bench in foul trouble. The MVP award was the third for DD's family in the Holiday Invitational, as her father Rodney won it in 1989 and her sister Roddreka captured it just a year ago.
"It means a lot to get the same award my dad and my sister got," Rhydeiah said. "It means a lot, and I'm glad I did it."
Mazyck, named to the All-Tournament team, steadied the Mustangs with Rogers on the bench in the second half and finished with a team-high 18 points, 3 steals and 2 assists. Saadia Timpton (11 points) also finished in double figures for Myers Park.
"A lot of time Aliyah does shoulder a lot of things she shouldn't have to," Nelson said. "She always seems to come up with a basket when we really, really need one. I hope that continues all year."
Mazyck said the Mustangs came to Raleigh looking for a second title.
"I like it," she said of playing in Broughton's home gym. "We're still the same Myers Park. We lost a few key players but when we come up here we want to win. This is our gym."
For Broughton (9-2), the final was a frustrating mixture of missed opportunities and injuries, as the Lady Caps repeatedly failed to convert in the paint and at the free throw line. Justice Byrd, named to the All-Tournament team thanks to solid performances in wins Wednesday and Thursday, finished with just 4 points Saturday evening after leaving the game with a knee injury in the second quarter.
Sophomore Kaila Ealey, the Mix 101.5 Bracket Most Outstanding Player, was the only Capital to finish in double figures, scoring 19 points and pulling down 3 rebounds.
Broughton head coach Brad McCorkle said his team's youth – the Lady Caps started one sophomore and two juniors – and inexperience in championship game settings showed.
"I don't feel like we played our best game tonight, but overall I'm proud of them. The gauntlet of teams we played this week is extremely tough," McCorkle said. "This is the first time we've been together in a championship setting. We still have a little bit of growing up to do. Next time we get this opportunity I think we'll be ready."
Despite the loss, Broughton set a new tournament record for scoring, surpassing Orange's 1996 record with 196 total points in three games. The Lady Caps downed Holly Springs 62-60 Wednesday and beat Hillside 86-65 Thursday before falling in the title game.
Mix 101.5 Bracket All-Tournament Team
Most Valuable Player: Rhydeiah Rogers (Myers Park)
Most Outstanding Player: Kaila Ealey (Broughton)
Mickayla Sanders (Cary Academy)
Kiara Leslie (Holly Springs)
J'Kyra Brown (Rocky Mount)
Aliyah Mazyck (Myers Park)
Justice Byrd (Broughton)
Tianna Knuckles (East Wake)
Moriah Davis (Dudley)
Jordyn Smith (Hillside)
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