Published: Dec 02, 2011 10:25 PM
Modified: Dec 07, 2011 01:52 AM
APEX - Cary simply had no answer for Apexs guards Friday night.
The backcourt duo of T.J. Evans and Michael Gubbins combined for 33 points in the Cougars 64-53 win over the rival Imps.
T.J. has an uncanny knack for scoring, Apex coach Dave Neal said. And Gubbins knocking down threes was huge. He made three big ones.
Evans, in particular, was big early as the Cougars (4-0, 2-0 Tri-Nine) began to open up their lead. When their offense looked a bit out of sync the sophomore took over and found a way to score, more often than not breaking down multiple defenders on his way to the basket. Apex led 20-10 after the first quarter.
(Evans) is a finisher, Cary coach Allan Gustafson said. To have a guard that can finish like that is a good thing to have. And hes not the only one they have.
Gubbins did his damage with the jump shot mostly behind the 3-point line. Nine of his 15 points came from outside the arc.
As Evans and third guard T.J. Wells penetrated, Gubbins was the beneficiary of the majority of their kick-out passes. And he took advantage as Apex pushed its lead to 15 at the break.
Offensively, we looked good when we got penetration, Neal said. We wanted to draw the Cary defenders to the ball and find the open man. We did that well tonight.
Neal expected the Imps to come out in their customary zone defense, so the game plan was to penetrate, kick the ball out and make jump shots. Cary (1-3, 1-1) obliged, sticking to its zone and forcing the Cougars to shoot over them.
Fortunately for Apex, the shooters knocked them down.
We thought theyd be in zone, Neal said. And against a zone like that youve got to make 3s. I thought we took good shots, especially the 3s. In practice and even in our scrimmage we struggled to make 3s, but tonight we made them.
The Cougars werent completely perimeter-oriented. Big man Corey Burnette scored 10 points to make it three Apex starters in double figures.
Once the game was no longer in doubt, the Imps put together a small run late led by Luke Akinsola, who finished with a team-high 11 points. Cary actually outscored the Cougars 20-13 in the fourth quarter, but the hole was too deep to climb out.
With the win, Apex remains unbeaten on the season and is off to an impressive start in what is likely to be a competitive Tri-Nine Conference.
I like this team, Neal said. Weve got good play inside with Burnette and at guard were talented and deep. We shoot the ball well and were a smart team. Im excited about what this team can do.