Needham B. Broughton High School, home of the Capitals, is a 4A school located in the heart of Raleigh, N.C. Last year the women’s basketball team, the Lady Caps, made it the fourth round of the state playoffs, where they lost to their main rival, Millbrook High School. The Lady Caps entered this season with a determination to go all the way. With a Cap Eight conference record of 13-1, the Lady Caps seemed to be on track. Yet, the story of the Lady Caps isn’t one simply based on numbers and statistics. Instead, their story is one of determination, passion, and friendship.
 In order to prepare for the playoffs, Coach Brad McCorkle drilled the girls endlessly on ball handling and confident shooting. Junior point guard Kaila Ealey is determined to make her mark on the season.
 “It’s always like this,” said Jessica Willets. “We are pumped when we get on the bus, but it quiets down as everyone starts to focus.”  Junior Josie Rouse jokes with fellow junior Lizzie Mann, while senior Dejah Cheatham listens to music to clear her mind.
 While playing their archrival Millbrook High School in one of the last regular season games, tensions are high. The Lady Caps already beat Millbrook at Broughton earlier in the season. Senior Dreamer Crawford is determined to also win at Millbrook.
 Junior point guard Kaila Ealey (14) has proved to be a vital part of the Lady Cap’s success. But in the last 10 seconds of overtime, Millbrook pulled ahead by one point to win the game 61-60.
 But the Lady Caps refuse to remain beaten. Before their game against Enloe, Kaila Ealey and Mariah Wall listen to music and dance. They aren’t just teammates, but friends.
 “We just have to play smart,” says Coach Brad McCorkle. “This game isn’t just about winning. It’s also about what life lessons the game of basketball can teach you.”
 “You also have to play hard,” Coach McCorkle reminds the girls. The girls practice every non-gameday, for at least two hours.
 Before every game, Coach McCorkle leads the girls in prayer, asking God for strength. The Lady Caps always end the prayer by reciting the Lord’s Prayer in unison.
 Before they even take the court, the Lady Caps believe they can win. With this mindset, they will play with confidence. Gathering around senior Dreamer Crawford, they get pumped for the second round of playoffs and their game against Hillside High School.
 But the Hillside Hornets were tough competition. Making basket after basket, the Hornets quickly ran up the score. Senior Dreamer Crawford struggled to get past the Hornets defense and score.
 After struggling to score in the first half, tensions were high in the locker room during halftime.
 Coach McCorkle feels every loss acutely. Although he doesn’t coach full time, he spends all of his free time devoted to the Lady Caps. Before important games, he often texts his assistant coaches late into the night with last minute game strategies.
 As the buzzer sounds, senior Dreamer Crawford realizes this is her last time wearing the Broughton uniform. The Hillside Hornets beat the Broughton Lady Caps 90-64.
 “Thank you to our seniors for all that you have given to this program. We will miss you,” said Coach McCorkle after the game. “But to everyone else, there is next year where we can just try harder.”
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