Lyon, White spur Hillside girls' playoff rout of Broughton
When the luck of the draw went against Hillside, the Hornets made their own Wednesday night, pressing, attacking and eventually destroying visiting Broughton 90-64 in the second round of the state 4-A girls’ basketball playoffs.
Hillside (22-5), the No. 5 seed in the East Region, advances to a third-round matchup at No. 4 seed Southern Alamance Friday at 7 p.m. in Graham.
The Hornets played an outstanding team game but their big two of junior wing Justine Lyon and senior power forward Zuri White outdid themselves. Lyon posted a career-best 42 points and White, who came into the game averaging a double-double at 12 points and 11 rebounds a game, more than doubled both numbers, finishing with a remarkable 25 points and 26 rebounds.
“Justine played like the all-American I think she’ll be and Zuri was just phenomenal,” Hillside coach Ovester Grays said. “And I’m proud of our overall effort. We played hard for 32 minutes.”
Judging from the final score, it would be easy to think Broughton was cannon-fodder. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, Hillside was cringing at the fact it had to face the No. 12 in the second round.
Broughton (20-4) was a No. 12 seed only by luck of the draw — literally. The Caps tied overall No. 1 East seed Millbrook for first place in the CAP-8 Conference at 13-1, the teams splitting head-to-head matchups. But Broughton lost a coin flip to break the tie and was dropped into a pool of second-place finishers from throughout the East, none of whom could be seeded higher than a conference champion. Thus the slip to No. 12.
Grays was shaking his head before Wednesday’s game when asked about the Caps’ low seed. “No one did us any favors,” he said.
But the Hornets, in the playoffs for the 17th straight season according to Grays, didn’t need any favors. After a slow start in which Hillside couldn’t seem to get a layup to drop, the Hornets went to the 3-ball with 19 seconds left in the first quarter, down 16-12.
Mya Webb hit one with 19 seconds left and Victoria Powell added a buzzer beater to give Hillside an 18-16 lead.
The pair of 3s began an 18-0 run to the 5:35 mark of the second quarter that put Hillside up 30-16.
Broughton answered with 16-6 run and cut the lead to 36-32. Lyon, who also finished with eight rebounds, six assists and six steals, hit a pair of free throws late to make it 38-32 at the break and capped a 7-0 run to start the third period with a layup. Lyon and White combined for 20 of Hillside’s 25 points in the quarter as the Hornets led 65-43 entering the fourth.
Six Hillside turnovers and a flock of Broughton free throws in the first two minutes of the fourth period helped Broughton trim the lead to 70-60 with 5:20 left, when Lyon and White again answered the call. White score eight points and Lyon six down the stretch as the Hornets closed on a 20-4 run to put it away.
NOTES — Kaila Easley led Broughton with 31 points, 17 from the foul line. No other Caps player hit double figures.
HILLSIDE 90, BROUGHTON 64
Broughton 16 18 9 21 — 64
Hillside 18 22 25 25 — 90
BROUGHTON — Deja Cheatham 7, Kaila Easley 31, Dreamer Crawford 8, Chelsey Flody 7, Ngala Kane 2, Mariah Wall 9.
HILLSIDE — Jakelbi Lewis 3, Tykyrah Williams 3, Elisia Grissett 2, Justine Lyon 42, Zuri White 25, Mya Webb 6, Amanda Lawrence 1, Victoria Powell 3, Khara Herring 5.
3-point goals — Broughton 1 (Cheatham), Hillside 2 (Webb, Powell). Rebounds — Broughton 24 (Ealey 5), Hillside 58 (White 26). Assists — Broughton (Ealey 4, Crawford 4), Hillside 17 (Lyon 6, Lewis 5). Steals — Broughton 13 (Ealey 4), Hillside 18 (Lyon 6, White 5).