By David Justice, News and Observer
RALEIGH — Northern Durham stung Broughton with a 58-51 loss Monday in the second round of the NCHSAA 4A boys’ high school basketball playoffs behind Kentrell Barkley’s 24 points.
The Knights (19-5), the No. 9 seed in the East, will play at top seedGarner on Tuesday.
For Broughton (21-3), which has nine seniors, it was a night of missed shots and missed opportunities.
“To go a long way in this tournament you’ve got to be good and Northern Durham is good,” Caps coach Jeff Ferrell saluted. “It seemed like we never did take the lids off the rims, but I can’t fault our effort. In the fourth quarter we played defense as good as we possibly could, but they just didn’t turn the ball over.”
The teams battled to a 28-28 halftime score and the Caps’ last lead was 32-30 after a pair of Jerome Robinson (16 points) free throws early in the third quarter.
Barkley, who will play for East Carolina, hit a free throw to give his team a 33-32 lead and the Knights never trailed again. He scored the Knights’ next six points and T.J. Bell hit a 3-pointer for a 42-36 lead. The Caps trailed 49-45 with five minutes to play, but Northern Durham stretched the lead to 54-49.
“We came in here knowing we had to get after it on defense,” said Barkley, who averages 22 points and 11 rebounds. “I wanted to give it my all because you never know when it will end. I try to play like it’s my last game.”
T.J. Crutchfield added 10 for the Knights.
For Broughton, seniors Roy McMillan scored 12 and Brooks Palmer added 9.
“I’ve tried to get this effort from the team all year,” Northern Durham coach Ronnie Russell said. “I guess it’s coming out at the right time. Kentrell was out with a bruised calf, but it looks like being off the last two weeks has helped him heal. He looks like he’s healthy and hopefully we’re peaking as a team.”
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