What was a comfortable double digit lead for most of the evening turned into a thrilling two possession game in the final minute of the fourth quarter between Millbrook and Wake Forest Junior Varsity on Tuesday night. The JV Wildcats held on late to win 74-64, and remain undefeated in Cap-8 Conference play.
Xavier Fennell cranked up the Millbrook offense by scoring four of their first eight points. Shawntay Mills added a floater in the lane, then following a Collin Lewis charge, Kevin Holmes got two baskets to fall to extend the lead to 18-12 after one quarter.
Coach Ledford's starting five heated up to start the second stanza as they quickly extended the six point lead to a fifteen point lead. Noah Watkins stepped up to take a charge, and on the ensuing possession, he spit out a pass to Jabari Brown in the corner for a three. Brown sunk another three moments later from the same spot, and he got three the hard way two plays later as he drove to the baseline, spun back towards the basket, and downed the reverse layup while drawing a foul. Brown led all scorers with 9 points at halftime. Following a three from Collin Lewis, and a putback layup from Anthony Maier, Millbrook took a 41-23 lead into the break.
It was much of the same from the Wildcats to start the second half. Noah Watkins floated one in off the glass, Kevin Holmes did the same following a dunk on the other end from Wake Forest's Jacob Graham, who led them in scoring with 17 points. Isaiah Lewis connected from three with 3:27 left in the 3rd to give Millbrook a 19 point lead, their largest of the night. The JV Cougars answered with a pair of baskets and stops before Zane Mondschein helped close out the scoring by driving to the lane and dumping a pass to a cutting Bradley Barnes for two points. Barnes would be one of four Wildcats that finished with 2 points on the night.
Three point shooting from Wake Forest kept them in the game all night long. Their success from downtown helped them outscore the Wildcats by four in the third quarter, 20-16. The fourteen point lead that Millbrook had would be chipped into even more in the final frame. Chance Keys, who scored 19 vs. the Wildcats back in December got to the hole for two. He stole away an errant Jabari Brown pass, and found Mateo Supids for the basket and foul. Those five points came within in the first 54 seconds of the fourth quarter, and all of the sudden, the lead was cut to nine, 57-48.
Wake Forest sophomore, Lex Goodwin would steal away a Noah Watkins pass and find Supids in the corner for a three with 6:13 left in the game to get the Cougars within six points, and force a timeout from Millbrook. The Wildcats responded well from Coach Ledford's message in the huddle as they quickly re-established a double digit lead. Brown stole a pass for Millbrook, turned it over, stole it right back, darted to the lane, and then found a wide open Noah Watkins on the left wing for a three. Brown collected another steal and he found Xavier Fennell who would be off to the races for the up and under layup to make it a 62-51 game.
Demarcus Jones got in on the action from beyond the Wake Forest arc to make it 63-54 with 3:35 left in regulation. Jabari Brown answered his three with a drive to the basket for two to give Millbrook a nine point advantage. The JV Cougars would once again cut it back to six on a three ball from Supids, but it was Brown who would come up with another answer as he navigated through the lane for the final two points of his team leading 17 point performance.
The "free throw game" began in the final minute of play, with Millbrook holding on to a 67-61 lead with 51.7 seconds left. Xavier Fennell, with the benefit of multiple lane violations, would sink three late free throws to wrap up a 12 point night, and Noah Watkins would down another four from the charity stripe to seal the deal on the 74-64 win and his 16 point scoring night.
With the victory, the JV Wildcats move to 13-1 on the season, and they remain a perfect 7-0 in conference play. They'll get a days worth of practice in on Wednesday before coming back home for a pivotal matchup against Broughton. Behind a combined 24 points from Noah and Graham Watkins, Millbrook was able to win by 10 in a very similar fashion back in December as they held on against the Caps after having established a 20 point lead at the Holliday Gym. Tip-off at Millbrook on Thursday is scheduled for 7:00 PM, JV Girls are scheduled for 5:30. For more information, follow us on Twitter at @MillbrookMBB.