Saving His Best For Last
One of the most storied careers in North Carolina high school basketball history is on the verge of ending. Shavlik Randolph will graduate from Needham Broughton High School in a few months. He'll do so having left his mark on a program once graced by the presence of the charismatic Pete Maravich. In a way, Randolph is the anti-Maravich – much more quiet and a lot less flamboyant.
On Friday, Pete Maravich would have been proud.
Broughton captured the Cap 6 title by virtue of its 67-61 win over host Millbrook. Randolph hit up Millbrook's box-and-one defense for a game-high 26 points and 17 rebounds. Undoubtedly, this one ranked high up on the list of best career performances. Randolph was an ultra-efficient 9-for-11 from the field. He missed his only 3-pointer. He made 8-of-10 from the line. To top it off, he took a charge, blocked 4 shots and grabbed 17 rebounds.
Broughton, clearly outmatched at every position except one, battled hard for the entire game. But, with 1:19 remaining, the Caps were dealt a blow. Randolph fouled Millbrook sophomore Cameron Stanley on a breakaway attempt. The foul was his fifth and he was done for the night. It was Randolph's lone bad play of the evening. He should have let Stanley score, but on this night, Randolph was challenging every shot so it was no surprise that he went after Stanley's attempt.
Down 7 points, Millbrook wasn't able to capitalize on Randolph's misfortune. Instead, the Caps hit their free throws and sealed the deal even with their star on the bench.
Randolph's career at Broughton has been interesting to say the least. The Caps are a fine high school program, but in Randolph's four years at the school, they weren't able to surround him with much talent and so far, the Caps don't have a coveted state title under the direction of the 6-10 star.
Not having a state title has little to do with Randolph. He's done his part and Friday is the greatest example. He played strong and tough. When he got the ball, he scored. Over the years, Broughton's main problem has been its inability to get Shavlik the basketball. Until late in the third quarter, Randolph saw few post touches. Once the Caps made a concerted effort to get him the ball, they began to pull away.
Randolph's days are numbered as a high schooler. The state tournament is on the horizon and after that it's a short summer before matriculating 20 miles down the road to Duke. If Friday was any indication of how Randolph plans on finishing the high school portion of his career, the Broughton Capitals aren't going to be an easy out in the state tournament.
Randolph is starting to mature physically. It's been seven months since Paul Davis physically took him out of the game in a contest at the Big Time. Now, Randolph is much stronger and he's added muscle to his upper body while not losing any skill. His arms aren't quite as skinny as they were in July and he's adding bulk to his frame. … Clemson assistant Matt Driscoll was in attendance. … Junior colleges are missing the boat on Millbrook 6-7 senior power forward Chris Temple. The ultra-athletic Temple has great bounce, is a fine rebounder and explodes to the rim. He could really do some damage on the glass. …